Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 11

Search results for: Armando Cartenì

11 Feasibility Studies through Quantitative Methods: The Revamping of a Tourist Railway Line in Italy

Authors: Armando Cartenì, Ilaria Henke

Abstract:

Recently, the Italian government has approved a new law for public contracts and has been laying the groundwork for restarting a planning phase. The government has adopted the indications given by the European Commission regarding the estimation of the external costs within the Cost-Benefit Analysis, and has been approved the ‘Guidelines for assessment of Investment Projects’. In compliance with the new Italian law, the aim of this research was to perform a feasibility study applying quantitative methods regarding the revamping of an Italian tourist railway line. A Cost-Benefit Analysis was performed starting from the quantification of the passengers’ demand potentially interested in using the revamped rail services. The benefits due to the external costs reduction were also estimated (quantified) in terms of variations (with respect to the not project scenario): climate change, air pollution, noises, congestion, and accidents. Estimations results have been proposed in terms of the Measure of Effectiveness underlying a positive Net Present Value equal to about 27 million of Euros, an Internal Rate of Return much greater the discount rate, a benefit/cost ratio equal to 2 and a PayBack Period of 15 years.

Keywords: Cost-benefit analysis, evaluation analysis, demand management, external cost, transport planning, quality.

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10 The Influence of Travel Experience within Perceived Public Transport Quality

Authors: Armando Cartenì, Ilaria Henke

Abstract:

The perceived public transport quality is an important driver that influences both customer satisfaction and mobility choices. The competition among transport operators needs to improve the quality of the services and identify which attributes are perceived as relevant by passengers. Among the “traditional” public transport quality attributes there are, for example: travel and waiting time, regularity of the services, and ticket price. By contrast, there are some “non-conventional” attributes that could significantly influence customer satisfaction jointly with the “traditional” ones. Among these, the beauty/aesthetics of the transport terminals (e.g. rail station and bus terminal) is probably one of the most impacting on user perception. Starting from these considerations, the point stressed in this paper was if (and how munch) the travel experience of the overall travel (e.g. how long is the travel, how many transport modes must be used) influences the perception of the public transport quality. The aim of this paper was to investigate the weight of the terminal quality (e.g. aesthetic, comfort and service offered) within the overall travel experience. The case study was the extra-urban Italian bus network. The passengers of the major Italian terminal bus were interviewed and the analysis of the results shows that about the 75% of the travelers, are available to pay up to 30% more for the ticket price for having a high quality terminal. A travel experience effect was observed: the average perceived transport quality varies with the characteristic of the overall trip. The passengers that have a “long trip” (travel time greater than 2 hours) perceived as “low” the overall quality of the trip even if they pass through a high quality terminal. The opposite occurs for the “short trip” passengers. This means that if a traveler passes through a high quality station, the overall perception of that terminal could be significantly reduced if he is tired from a long trip. This result is important and if confirmed through other case studies, will allow to conclude that the “travel experience impact" must be considered as an explicit design variable for public transport services and planning.

Keywords: Transportation planning, sustainable mobility, decision support system, discrete choice model, design problem.

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9 Cross-Cultural Strategies for Web Design

Authors: Armando Calabrese, Guendalina Capece, Michele Corbò, Nathan Levialdi Ghiron, Matteo M. Marucchi

Abstract:

People from different cultures favor web pages characterized by the values of their culture and, therefore, tend to prefer different characteristics of a website according to their cultural values in terms of navigation, security, product information, customer service, shopping and design tools. For a company aiming to globalize its market it is useful to implement country specific cultural interfaces and different web sites for countries with different cultures. This paper, following the conclusions proposed by two models of Hall and Hofstede, and the studies of Marcus and Gould, defines, through an empirical analysis, the guidelines of web design for both the Scandinavian countries and Malaysia.

Keywords: Cultural dimensions, cultural markers, Hofstede, web design, web marketing.

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8 QoS Management in the Future Internet

Authors: S. Rao, S. Khavtasi, C. Chassot, N. Van Wambeke, F. Armando, S. P. Romano, T. Castaldi

Abstract:

The talks about technological convergence had been around for almost twenty years. Today Internet made it possible. And this is not only technical evolution. The way it changed our lives reflected in variety of applications, services and technologies used in day-to-day life. Such benefits imposed even more requirements on heterogeneous and unreliable IP networks. Current paper outlines QoS management system developed in the NetQoS [1] project. It describes an overall architecture of management system for heterogeneous networks and proposes automated multi-layer QoS management. Paper focuses on the structure of the most crucial modules of the system that enable autonomous and multi-layer provisioning and dynamic adaptation.

Keywords: Automated QoS management, multi-layerprovisioning and adaptation, QoS, QoE.

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7 A New Muscle Architecture Model with Non-Uniform Distribution of Muscle Fiber Types

Authors: Javier Navallas, Armando Malanda, Luis Gila, Javier Rodriguez, Ignacio Rodriguez

Abstract:

According to previous studies, some muscles present a non-homogeneous spatial distribution of its muscle fiber types and motor unit types. However, available muscle models only deal with muscles with homogeneous distributions. In this paper, a new architecture muscle model is proposed to permit the construction of non-uniform distributions of muscle fibers within the muscle cross section. The idea behind is the use of a motor unit placement algorithm that controls the spatial overlapping of the motor unit territories of each motor unit type. Results show the capabilities of the new algorithm to reproduce arbitrary muscle fiber type distributions.

Keywords: muscle model, muscle architecture, motor unit, EMG simulation.

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6 Viscoelastic Characterization of Bovine Trabecular Bone Samples

Authors: Ramirez D. Edgar I., Angeles H. José J., Ruiz C. Osvaldo, Jacobo A. Victor H., Ortiz P. Armando

Abstract:

Knowledge of bone mechanical properties is important for bone substitutes design and fabrication, and more efficient prostheses development. The aim of this study is to characterize the viscoelastic behavior of bone specimens, through stress relaxation and fatigue tests performed to trabecular bone samples from bovine femoral heads. Relaxation tests consisted on preloading the samples at five different magnitudes and evaluate them for 1020 seconds, adjusting the results to a KWW mathematical model. Fatigue tests consisted of 700 load cycles and analyze their status at the end of the tests. As a conclusion we have that between relaxation stress and each preload there is linear relation and for samples with initial Young´s modulus greater than 1.5 GPa showed no effects due fatigue test loading cycles.

Keywords: Bone viscoelasticity, fatigue test, stress relaxation test, trabecular bone properties.

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5 A Positioning Matrix to Assess and to Develop CSR Strategies

Authors: Armando Calabrese, Roberta Costa, Tamara Menichini, Francesco Rosati

Abstract:

A company CSR commitment, as stated in its Social Report is, actually, perceived by its stakeholders?And in what measure? Moreover, are stakeholders satisfied with the company CSR efforts? Indeed, business returns from Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices, such as company reputation and customer loyalty, depend heavily on how stakeholders perceive the company social conduct. In this paper, we propose a methodology to assess a company CSR commitment based on Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) indicators, Content Analysis and a CSR positioning matrix. We evaluate three aspects of CSR: the company commitment disclosed through its Social Report; the company commitment perceived by its stakeholders; the CSR commitment that stakeholders require to the company. The positioning of the company under study in the CSR matrix is based on the comparison among the three commitment aspects (disclosed, perceived, required) and it allows assessment and development of CSR strategies.

Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), CSR Positioning Matrix, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Stakeholder Orientation

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4 Automatic Segmentation of Thigh Magnetic Resonance Images

Authors: Lorena Urricelqui, Armando Malanda, Arantxa Villanueva

Abstract:

Purpose: To develop a method for automatic segmentation of adipose and muscular tissue in thighs from magnetic resonance images. Materials and methods: Thirty obese women were scanned on a Siemens Impact Expert 1T resonance machine. 1500 images were finally used in the tests. The developed segmentation method is a recursive and multilevel process that makes use of several concepts such as shaped histograms, adaptative thresholding and connectivity. The segmentation process was implemented in Matlab and operates without the need of any user interaction. The whole set of images were segmented with the developed method. An expert radiologist segmented the same set of images following a manual procedure with the aid of the SliceOmatic software (Tomovision). These constituted our 'goal standard'. Results: The number of coincidental pixels of the automatic and manual segmentation procedures was measured. The average results were above 90 % of success in most of the images. Conclusions: The proposed approach allows effective automatic segmentation of MRIs from thighs, comparable to expert manual performance.

Keywords: Segmentation, thigh, magnetic resonance image, fat, muscle.

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3 Measuring the CSR Company-Stakeholder Fit

Authors: Armando Calabrese, Roberta Costa, Tamara Menichini, Francesco Rosati

Abstract:

As a company competitiveness depends more and more on the relationship with its stakeholders, the topic of companystakeholder fit is becoming increasingly important. This fit affects the extent to which a stakeholder perceives CSR company commitment, values and behaviors and, therefore, stakeholder identification in a company and his/her loyalty to it. Consequently, it is important to measure the alignment or the gap between stakeholder CSR demands, values, preferences and perceptions, and the company CSR disclosed commitment, values and policies. In this paper, in order to assess the company-stakeholder fit about corporate responsibility, an innovative CSR fit positioning matrix is proposed. This matrix is based on the measurement of a company CSR disclosed commitment and stakeholder perceived and required commitment. The matrix is part of a more complex methodology based on Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) indicators, content analysis and stakeholder questionnaires. This methodology provides appropriate indications for helping companies to achieve CSR company-stakeholder fit, by leveraging both CSR commitment and communication. Moreover, it could be used by top management for comparing different companies and stakeholders, and for planning specific CSR strategies, policies and activities.

Keywords: Company-Stakeholder fit, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), CSR Positioning Matrix, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Stakeholder Orientation.

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2 Analysis of Residual Strain and Stress Distributions in High Speed Milled Specimens using an Indentation Method

Authors: Felipe V. Díaz, Claudio A. Mammana, Armando P. M. Guidobono, Raúl E. Bolmaro

Abstract:

Through a proper analysis of residual strain and stress distributions obtained at the surface of high speed milled specimens of AA 6082–T6 aluminium alloy, the performance of an improved indentation method is evaluated. This method integrates a special device of indentation to a universal measuring machine. The mentioned device allows introducing elongated indents allowing to diminish the absolute error of measurement. It must be noted that the present method offers the great advantage of avoiding both the specific equipment and highly qualified personnel, and their inherent high costs. In this work, the cutting tool geometry and high speed parameters are selected to introduce reduced plastic damage. Through the variation of the depth of cut, the stability of the shapes adopted by the residual strain and stress distributions is evaluated. The results show that the strain and stress distributions remain unchanged, compressive and small. Moreover, these distributions reveal a similar asymmetry when the gradients corresponding to conventional and climb cutting zones are compared.

Keywords: Residual strain, residual stress, high speed milling, indentation methods, aluminium alloys.

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1 DSLEP (Data Structure Learning Platform to Aid in Higher Education IT Courses)

Authors: Estevan B. Costa, Armando M. Toda, Marcell A. A. Mesquita, Jacques D. Brancher

Abstract:

The advances in technology in the last five years allowed an improvement in the educational area, as the increasing in the development of educational software. One of the techniques that emerged in this lapse is called Gamification, which is the utilization of video game mechanics outside its bounds. Recent studies involving this technique provided positive results in the application of these concepts in many areas as marketing, health and education. In the last area there are studies that covers from elementary to higher education, with many variations to adequate to the educators methodologies. Among higher education, focusing on IT courses, data structures are an important subject taught in many of these courses, as they are base for many systems. Based on the exposed this paper exposes the development of an interactive web learning environment, called DSLEP (Data Structure Learning Platform), to aid students in higher education IT courses. The system includes basic concepts seen on this subject such as stacks, queues, lists, arrays, trees and was implemented to ease the insertion of new structures. It was also implemented with gamification concepts, such as points, levels, and leader boards, to engage students in the search for knowledge and stimulate self-learning.

Keywords: Gamification, Interactive learning environment, Data structures, e-learning.

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