Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 276

Search results for: Italian Guarantee Fund

276 Italian Central Guarantee Fund: An Analysis of the Guaranteed SMEs’ Default Risk

Authors: M. C. Arcuri, L. Gai, F. Ielasi

Abstract:

Italian Central Guarantee Fund (CGF) has the purpose to facilitate Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)’ access to credit. The aim of the paper is to study the evaluation method adopted by the CGF with regard to SMEs requiring its intervention. This is even more important in the light of the recent CGF reform. We analyse an initial sample of more than 500.000 guarantees from 2012 to 2018. We distinguish between a counter-guarantee delivered to a mutual guarantee institution and a guarantee directly delivered to a bank. We investigate the impact of variables related to the operations and the SMEs on Altman Z’’-score and the score consistent with CGF methodology. We verify that the type of intervention affects the scores and the initial condition changes with the new assessment criterions. 

Keywords: Banks, default risk, Italian Guarantee Fund, mutual guarantee institutions.

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275 Deposit Guarantee Fund: One Perspective

Authors: Rute Abreu, Fátima David, Liliane Cristina Segura

Abstract:

The Deposit Guarantee Fund (DGF) and its communication with the Society, in general, and with the deposit client of Financial Institutions, in particular, is discussed through the challenges of the accounting and financial report. The Bank of Portugal promotes the Portuguese Deposit Guarantee Fund (PDGF) as a financial institution that enhanced the market confidence and stability on the deposit-insurance system. Due to the nature of their functions, it must be subject to regulation and supervision that provides a first line of defense against adversely affect confidence on the Portuguese financial market. First, this research provides evidence of the effectiveness of the protection mechanisms on the deposit insurance system, which provides high and equal protection to all stakeholders. Second, it emphasizes the need of requirements of rigorous accounting process and effective financial report to reduce the moral hazard implications. Third, this research focuses on the need of total disclosure of the financial information which gives higher transparency and protection to deposit client of financial institutions.

Keywords: Deposit Guarantee Fund, Portugal, Accounting, Financial Report.

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274 Loan Guarantee Schemes: Private and Public Examples

Authors: Simeon Karafolas, Maciej Woźniak

Abstract:

Guarantee schemes have been introduced in the economic and financial system as response to difficulties of SMEs for the access to the banking credit. Guarantee companies first appeared at the 19e century. Last wave of the development of those schemes appeared at the decade of 1990’s in particular to the new countries members of the EU. Guarantee schemes are presented as public owned guarantee companies, private ones mainly through a mutual form, but also under a mixed form. The paper based on guarantee schemes of five countries tries to investigate the differences that can exist within different guarantee companies. This investigation is based on some indicators that are time of response to the demand of guarantee, threshold of guarantee, acceptance of applications for guarantee, jobs created or saved and bureaucratic issues. It appears that guarantee companies have not the same reaction to the demand of SMEs and some of them are much more active.

Keywords: DIFASS, Guarantees, Loans.

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273 CookIT: A Web Portal for the Preservation and Dissemination of Traditional Italian Recipes

Authors: M. T. Artese, G. Ciocca, I. Gagliardi

Abstract:

Food is a social and cultural aspect of every individual. Food products, processing, and traditions have been identified as cultural objects carrying history and identity of social groups. Traditional recipes are passed down from one generation to the other, often to strengthen the link with the territory. The paper presents CookIT, a web portal developed to collect Italian traditional recipes related to regional cuisine, with the purpose to disseminate the knowledge of typical Italian recipes and the Mediterranean diet which is a significant part of Italian cuisine. The system designed is completed with multimodal means of browsing and data retrieval. Stored recipes can be retrieved integrating and combining a number of different methods and keys, while the results are displayed using classical styles, such as list and mosaic, and also using maps and graphs, with which users can play using available keys for interaction.

Keywords: Collaborative portal, Italian cuisine, intangible cultural heritage, traditional recipes, searching and browsing.

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272 Causal Relationship between Macro-Economic Indicators and Funds Unit Prices Behavior: Evidence from Malaysian Islamic Equity Unit Trust Funds Industry

Authors: Anwar Hasan Abdullah Othman, Ahamed Kameel, Hasanuddeen Abdul Aziz

Abstract:

In this study, attempt has been made to investigate the relationship specifically the causal relation between fund unit prices of Islamic equity unit trust fund which measure by fund NAV and the selected macro-economic variables of Malaysian economy by using VECM causality test and Granger causality test. Monthly data has been used from Jan, 2006 to Dec, 2012 for all the variables. The findings of the study showed that industrial production index, political election and financial crisis are the only variables having unidirectional causal relationship with fund unit price. However the global oil price is having bidirectional causality with fund NAV. Thus, it is concluded that the equity unit trust fund industry in Malaysia is an inefficient market with respect to the industrial production index, global oil prices, political election and financial crisis. However the market is approaching towards informational efficiency at least with respect to four macroeconomic variables, treasury bill rate, money supply, foreign exchange rate, and corruption index.

Keywords: Fund unit price, unit trust industry, Malaysia, macroeconomic variables, causality.

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271 Interest Rate Fluctuation Effect on Commercial Bank’s Fixed Fund Deposit in Nigeria

Authors: Okolo Chimaobi Valentine

Abstract:

Commercial banks in Nigeria adopted many strategies to attract fresh deposits including the use of high deposit rate. However, pricing of banking services moved in favor of the banks at the expense of customers, resulting in their seeking other investment alternatives rather than saving their money in the bank. Both deposit and lending rates were greatly influenced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) decision on interest rate. Therefore, commercial bank effort to attract deposits via manipulation of her rates was greatly limited, otherwise the banks will be giving out more than it earned. The study aimed at examining the relationship between interest rate and fixed fund deposit of commercial banks, how policy-controlled interest rate affected commercial bank’s fixed fund deposit The researcher employed ordinary least square technique, using, multiple linear regression, unrestricted vector auto-regression, correlation matrix test, granger causality and impulse response graph in the analysis. Commercial bank’s interest rates affected commercial bank’s fixed fund deposit significantly while policy-controlled interest rate did not significantly transmit through the commercial bank’s interest rates to affect fixed fund deposit. While commercial banks seek creative ways to expand their fixed fund deposit, policy authorities in Nigeria should better coordinate interest rate fluctuation and induce competition in the entire financial sector.

Keywords: Commercial bank, fixed fund deposit, fluctuation effects, interest rate.

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270 The Women Entrepreneur Support Fund in Bangladesh: Challenges and Prospects

Authors: Chowdhury Dilruba Shoma

Abstract:

Gender is about equal rights that both males and females having access to responsibilities and opportunities in decision making is a fundamental human right. It is also a precondition for, and a mark of, sustainable people-oriented development. In Bangladesh, women have fewer opportunities than men do to access credit from banks and financial institutions. Entrenched patriarchal attitudes, unequal inheritance rights, and male-dominated hierarchies in the financial system, plus high interest rates and a lack of security/collateral, make it harder for women to obtain bank loans. Limited access to institutional credit is a serious restraint on the productivity and income of women entrepreneurs, (and the wider economy). These gender-biased and structural barriers inhibit women’s access to fundamental economic rights. Using a liberal feminist theoretical lens, this study provides some useful insights into the relationship between gender inequality and entrepreneurship, leading to a better understanding of women’s entrepreneurship development in Bangladesh. Recently, the Bangladesh Government, the United Nations Capital Development Fund, and Bangladesh Bank opened up the Women Entrepreneur Support Fund (WESF) ‒ Credit Guarantee Scheme (CGS) pilot project to cover collateral shortfalls for women entrepreneurs in the small and medium enterprise sector. The aim is to improve gender equality and advance women’s rights in relation to receiving credit. This article examines the challenges and prospects of the WESF-CGS, and suggests that implementation of measures in WESF-CGS policymaking, coupled with a combination of legislatory and regulatory reforms that implement the fundamental tenets of liberal feminism, can lead to a comprehensive and effective credit policy to boost women’s agency and economic empowerment. This may ultimately lead to more sustainable development in Bangladesh.

Keywords: Bangladesh, CGS, liberal feminist theory, women entrepreneur support fund.

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269 Assessing the Strategies of Local Italian Food for Promoting Food Policy in Developing Countries

Authors: A. Sohrabi

Abstract:

The importance of local food products and their promotion are drivers for economic growth. Entrepreneurship is one of the most important tools for development, which puts its most important effect on the way of increasing business in society. The purpose of this paper is to assess the breadth of food strategies in Italy toward to promoting local Italian foods in order to present useful food policies for developing countries. The methodology of this paper is based on qualitative analysis. In order to achieve such objectives, a literature review is carried out by employing documenting study. In this research, at first, we seek to present compliance’s concepts and definitions. Then, after examining the dimensions of the three strategies, we access to the indicators and compare their effects in order to present some useful policies and guidelines for developing countries. Despite of the limitations like inaccessibility, performance of companies in exporting local foods and lacking perception of awareness and experience of people, the study offers possible ways for future, as an example for Middle East countries to promote Italian local foods. The finding of this paper evaluates the three strategies in order to promote local food entrepreneurship in Italy and developing countries.

Keywords: Local food, Italian food, Italian strategy, food policy.

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268 Cost Optimized CO2 Pipeline Transportation Grid: A Case Study from Italian Industries

Authors: P Bumb, U Desideri, F Quattrocchi, L Arcioni

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This paper presents the feasibility study of CO2 sequestration from the sources to the sinks in the prospective of Italian Industries. CO2 produced at these sources captured, compressed to supercritical pressures, transported via pipelines and stored in underground geologic formations such as depleted oil and natural gas reservoirs, un-minable coal seams and deep saline aquifers. In this work, we present the optimized pipeline infrastructure for the CO2 with appropriate constraints to find lower cost system by the use of nonlinear optimization software LINGO 11.0. This study was conducted on CO2 transportation complex network of Italian Industries, to find minimum cost network for transporting the CO2 from sources to the sinks.

Keywords: CCS, CO2, ECBM, EU, NAP, LINGO, UNMIG.

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267 Specialized Translation Teaching Strategies: A Corpus-Based Approach

Authors: Yingying Ding

Abstract:

This study presents a methodology of specialized translation with the objective of helping teachers to improve the strategies in teaching translation. In order to allow students to acquire skills to translate specialized texts, they need to become familiar with the semantic and syntactic features of source texts and target texts. The aim of our study is to use a corpus-based approach in the teaching of specialized translation between Chinese and Italian. This study proposes to construct a specialized Chinese - Italian comparable corpus that consists of 50 economic contracts from the domain of food. With the help of AntConc, we propose to compile a comparable corpus in for translation teaching purposes. This paper attempts to provide insight into how teachers could benefit from comparable corpus in the teaching of specialized translation from Italian into Chinese and through some examples of passive sentences how students could learn to apply different strategies for translating appropriately the voice.

Keywords: Corpus-based approach, translation teaching, specialized translation.

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266 Curriculum Based Measurement and Precision Teaching in Writing Empowerment Enhancement: Results from an Italian Learning Center

Authors: I. Pelizzoni, C. Cavallini, I. Salvaderi, F. Cavallini

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We present the improvement in writing skills obtained by 94 participants (aged between six and 10 years) with special educational needs through a writing enhancement program based on fluency principles. The study was planned and conducted with a single-subject experimental plan for each of the participants, in order to confirm the results in the literature. These results were obtained using precision teaching (PT) methodology to increase the number of written graphemes per minute in the pre- and post-test, by curriculum based measurement (CBM). Results indicated an increase in the number of written graphemes for all participants. The average overall duration of the intervention is 144 minutes in five months of treatment. These considerations have been analyzed taking account of the complexity of the implementation of measurement systems in real operational contexts (an Italian learning center) and important aspects of replicability and cost-effectiveness of such interventions.

Keywords: Precision teaching, writing skills, CBM, Italian Learning Center.

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265 Classification of Business Models of Italian Bancassurance by Balance Sheet Indicators

Authors: Andrea Bellucci, Martina Tofi

Abstract:

The aim of paper is to analyze business models of bancassurance in Italy for life business. The life insurance business is very developed in the Italian market and banks branches have 80% of the market share. Given its maturity, the life insurance market needs to consolidate its organizational form to allow for the development of non-life business, which nowadays collects few premiums but represents a great opportunity to enlarge the market share of bancassurance using its strength in the distribution channel while the market share of independent agents is decreasing. Starting with the main business model of bancassurance for life business, this paper will analyze the performances of life companies in the Italian market by balance sheet indicators and by main discriminant variables of business models. The study will observe trends from 2013 to 2015 for the Italian market by exploiting a database managed by Associazione Nazionale delle Imprese di Assicurazione (ANIA). The applied approach is based on a bottom-up analysis starting with variables and indicators to define business models’ classification. The statistical classification algorithm proposed by Ward is employed to design business models’ profiles. Results from the analysis will be a representation of the main business models built by their profile related to indicators. In that way, an unsupervised analysis is developed that has the limit of its judgmental dimension based on research opinion, but it is possible to obtain a design of effective business models.

Keywords: Balance sheet indicators, Bancassurance, business models, ward algorithm.

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264 An Improved Approach for Hybrid Rocket Injection System Design

Authors: M. Invigorito, G. Elia, M. Panelli

Abstract:

Hybrid propulsion combines beneficial properties of both solid and liquid rockets, such as multiple restarts, throttability as well as simplicity and reduced costs. A nitrous oxide (N2O)/paraffin-based hybrid rocket engine demonstrator is currently under development at the Italian Aerospace Research Center (CIRA) within the national research program HYPROB, funded by the Italian Ministry of Research. Nitrous oxide belongs to the class of self-pressurizing propellants that exhibit a high vapor pressure at standard ambient temperature. This peculiar feature makes those fluids very attractive for space rocket applications because it avoids the use of complex pressurization systems, leading to great benefits in terms of weight savings and reliability. To avoid feed-system-coupled instabilities, the phase change is required to occur through the injectors. In this regard, the oxidizer is stored in liquid condition while target chamber pressures are designed to lie below vapor pressure. The consequent cavitation and flash vaporization constitute a remarkably complex phenomenology that arises great modelling challenges. Thus, it is clear that the design of the injection system is fundamental for the full exploitation of hybrid rocket engine throttability. The Analytical Hierarchy Process has been used to select the injection architecture as best compromise among different design criteria such as functionality, technology innovation and cost. The impossibility to use engineering simplified relations for the dimensioning of the injectors led to the needs of applying a numerical approach based on OpenFOAM®. The numerical tool has been validated with selected experimental data from literature. Quantitative, as well as qualitative comparisons are performed in terms of mass flow rate and pressure drop across the injector for several operating conditions. The results show satisfactory agreement with the experimental data. Modeling assumptions, together with their impact on numerical predictions are discussed in the paper. Once assessed the reliability of the numerical tool, the injection plate has been designed and sized to guarantee the required amount of oxidizer in the combustion chamber and therefore to assure high combustion efficiency. To this purpose, the plate has been designed with multiple injectors whose number and diameter have been selected in order to reach the requested mass flow rate for the two operating conditions of maximum and minimum thrust. The overall design has been finally verified through three-dimensional computations in cavitating non-reacting conditions and it has been verified that the proposed design solution is able to guarantee the requested values of mass flow rates.

Keywords: Hybrid rocket, injection system design, OpenFOAM®, cavitation

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263 Direct Measurements of Wind Data over 100 Meters above the Ground in the Site of Lendinara, Italy

Authors: A. Dal Monte, M. Raciti Castelli, G. B. Bellato, L. Stevanato, E. Benini

Abstract:

The wind resource in the Italian site of Lendinara (RO) is analyzed through a systematic anemometric campaign performed on the top of the bell tower, at an altitude of over 100 m above the ground. Both the average wind speed and the Weibull distribution are computed. The resulting average wind velocity is in accordance with the numerical predictions of the Italian Wind Atlas, confirming the accuracy of the extrapolation of wind data adopted for the evaluation of wind potential at higher altitudes with respect to the commonly placed measurement stations.

Keywords: Anemometric campaign, wind resource, Weibull distribution, wind atlas

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262 Hourly Electricity Load Forecasting: An Empirical Application to the Italian Railways

Authors: M. Centra

Abstract:

Due to the liberalization of countless electricity markets, load forecasting has become crucial to all public utilities for which electricity is a strategic variable. With the goal of contributing to the forecasting process inside public utilities, this paper addresses the issue of applying the Holt-Winters exponential smoothing technique and the time series analysis for forecasting the hourly electricity load curve of the Italian railways. The results of the analysis confirm the accuracy of the two models and therefore the relevance of forecasting inside public utilities.

Keywords: ARIMA models, Exponential smoothing, Electricity, Load forecasting, Rail transportation.

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261 Perceptual and Ultrasound Articulatory Training Effects on English L2 Vowels Production by Italian Learners

Authors: I. Sonia d’Apolito, Bianca Sisinni, Mirko Grimaldi, Barbara Gili Fivela

Abstract:

The American English contrast /ɑ-ʌ/ (cop-cup) is difficult to be produced by Italian learners since they realize L2-/ɑ-ʌ/ as L1-/ɔ-a/ respectively, due to differences in phonetic-phonological systems and also in grapheme-to-phoneme conversion rules. In this paper, we try to answer the following research questions: Can a short training improve the production of English /ɑ-ʌ/ by Italian learners? Is a perceptual training better than an articulatory (ultrasound - US) training? Thus, we compare a perceptual training with an US articulatory one to observe: 1) the effects of short trainings on L2-/ɑ-ʌ/ productions; 2) if the US articulatory training improves the pronunciation better than the perceptual training. In this pilot study, 9 Salento-Italian monolingual adults participated: 3 subjects performed a 1-hour perceptual training (ES-P); 3 subjects performed a 1-hour US training (ES-US); and 3 control subjects did not receive any training (CS). Verbal instructions about the phonetic properties of L2-/ɑ-ʌ/ and L1-/ɔ-a/ and their differences (representation on F1-F2 plane) were provided during both trainings. After these instructions, the ES-P group performed an identification training based on the High Variability Phonetic Training procedure, while the ES-US group performed the articulatory training, by means of US video of tongue gestures in L2-/ɑ-ʌ/ production and dynamic view of their own tongue movements and position using a probe under their chin. The acoustic data were analyzed and the first three formants were calculated. Independent t-tests were run to compare: 1) /ɑ-ʌ/ in pre- vs. post-test respectively; /ɑ-ʌ/ in pre- and post-test vs. L1-/a-ɔ/ respectively. Results show that in the pre-test all speakers realize L2-/ɑ-ʌ/ as L1-/ɔ-a/ respectively. Contrary to CS and ES-P groups, the ES-US group in the post-test differentiates the L2 vowels from those produced in the pre-test as well as from the L1 vowels, although only one ES-US subject produces both L2 vowels accurately. The articulatory training seems more effective than the perceptual one since it favors the production of vowels in the correct direction of L2 vowels and differently from the similar L1 vowels.

Keywords: L2 vowel production, perceptual training, articulatory training, ultrasound.

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260 The Project of Three Photovoltaic Systems in an Italian Natural Park

Authors: M.Paroncini, F.Corvaro, G.Nardini, S.Pistolesi

Abstract:

The development of renewable energies - particularly energy from wind, water, solar power and biomass - is a central aim of the European Commission's energy policy. There are several reasons for this choice: renewable energies are sustainable, nonpolluting, widely available and clean. Increasing the share of renewable energy in the energy balance enhances sustainability. It also helps to improve the security of energy supply by reducing the Community's growing dependence on imported energy sources.In this paper it was studied the possibility to realize three photovoltaic systems in the Italian Natural Park “Gola della Rossa e di Frasassi". The first photovoltaic system is a grid-connected system for Services and Documentation Center of Castelletta with a nominal power of about 6 kWp. The second photovoltaic system is a grid-connected integrated system on the ticket office-s roof with a nominal power of about 4 kWp. The third project is set up by five grid-connected systems integrated on the roofs of the bungalows in Natural Park-s tourist camping with a nominal power of about 10 kWp. The electricity which is generated by all these plants is purchased according to the Italian program called “Conto Energia". Economical analysis and the amount of the avoided CO2 emissions are elaborated for these photovoltaic systems.

Keywords: CO2 emissions, conto energia, photovoltaic systems.

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259 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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258 Optimal Portfolio Selection in a DC Pension with Multiple Contributors and the Impact of Stochastic Additional Voluntary Contribution on the Optimal Investment Strategy

Authors: Edikan E. Akpanibah, Okwigbedi Oghen’Oro

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In this paper, we studied the optimal portfolio selection in a defined contribution (DC) pension scheme with multiple contributors under constant elasticity of variance (CEV) model and the impact of stochastic additional voluntary contribution on the investment strategies. We assume that the voluntary contributions are stochastic and also consider investments in a risk free asset and a risky asset to increase the expected returns of the contributing members. We derived a stochastic differential equation which consists of the members’ monthly contributions and the invested fund and obtained an optimized problem with the help of Hamilton Jacobi Bellman equation. Furthermore, we find an explicit solution for the optimal investment strategy with stochastic voluntary contribution using power transformation and change of variables method and the corresponding optimal fund size was obtained. We discussed the impact of the voluntary contribution on the optimal investment strategy with numerical simulations and observed that the voluntary contribution reduces the optimal investment strategy of the risky asset.

Keywords: DC pension fund, Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman, optimal investment strategies, power transformation method, stochastic, voluntary contribution.

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257 Business Diversification Strategies in the Italian Energy Markets

Authors: F. Di Pillo, G. Capece, L. Cricelli, N. Levialdi

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The liberalization and privatization processes have forced public utility companies to face new competitive challenges, implementing strategies to gain market share and, at the same time, keep the old customers. To this end, many companies have carried out mergers, acquisitions and conglomerations in order to diversify their business. This paper focuses on companies operating in the free energy market in Italy. In the last decade, this sector has undergone profound changes that have radically changed the competitive scenario and have led companies to implement diversification strategies of the business. Our work aims to evaluate the economic and financial performances obtained by energy companies, following the beginning of the liberalization process, verifying the possible relationship with the implemented diversification strategies.

Keywords: Business diversification strategies, M&A, the Italian energy market liberalization, economic and financial performances.

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256 High Speed Rail vs. Other Factors Affecting the Tourism Market in Italy

Authors: F. Pagliara, F. Mauriello

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The objective of this paper is to investigate the relationship between the increase of accessibility brought by high speed rail (HSR) systems and the tourism market in Italy. The impacts of HSR projects on tourism can be quantified in different ways. In this manuscript, an empirical analysis has been carried out with the aid of a dataset containing information both on tourism and transport for 99 Italian provinces during the 2006-2016 period. Panel data regression models have been considered, since they allow modelling a wide variety of correlation patterns. Results show that HSR has an impact on the choice of a given destination for Italian tourists while the presence of a second level hub mainly affects foreign tourists. Attraction variables are also significant for both categories and the variables concerning security, such as number of crimes registered in a given destination, have a negative impact on the choice of a destination.

Keywords: Tourists, overnights, high speed rail, attractions, security.

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255 An Overview of Nano-Particles Effect on Mechanical Properties of Composites

Authors: Olatunde I. Sekunowo, Stephen I. Durowaye, Ganiyu I. Lawal

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Composites depending on the nature of their constituents and mode of production are regarded as one of the advanced materials that drive today’s technology. This paper attempts a short review of the subject matter with a general aim of pushing to the next level the frontier of knowledge as it impacts the technology of nano-particles manufacturing. The objectives entail an effort to; aggregate recent research efforts in this field, analyse research findings and observations, streamline research efforts and support industry in taking decision on areas of fund deployment. It is envisaged that this work will serve as a quick hand-on compendium material for researchers in this field and a guide to relevant government departments wishing to fund a research whose outcomes have the potential of improving the nation’s GDP.

Keywords: Advanced materials, Composites, Mechanical properties, Nano-particles.

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254 Design Process and Real-Time Validation of an Innovative Autonomous Mid-Air Flight and Landing System

Authors: De Lellis E., Di Vito V., Garbarino L., Lai C., Corraro F.

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This paper describes the design process and the realtime validation of an innovative autonomous mid-air flight and landing system developed by the Italian Aerospace Research Center in the framework of the Italian national funded project TECVOL (Technologies for the Autonomous Flight). In the paper it is provided an insight of the whole development process of the system under study. In particular, the project framework is illustrated at first, then the functional context and the adopted design and testing approach are described, and finally the on-ground validation test rig on purpose designed is addressed in details. Furthermore, the hardwarein- the-loop validation of the autonomous mid-air flight and landing system by means of the real-time test rig is described and discussed.

Keywords: Autonomous landing, autonomous mid-air flight, design and test approach, real-time hardware-in-the-loop validation

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253 Regression Approach for Optimal Purchase of Hosts Cluster in Fixed Fund for Hadoop Big Data Platform

Authors: Haitao Yang, Jianming Lv, Fei Xu, Xintong Wang, Yilin Huang, Lanting Xia, Xuewu Zhu

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Given a fixed fund, purchasing fewer hosts of higher capability or inversely more of lower capability is a must-be-made trade-off in practices for building a Hadoop big data platform. An exploratory study is presented for a Housing Big Data Platform project (HBDP), where typical big data computing is with SQL queries of aggregate, join, and space-time condition selections executed upon massive data from more than 10 million housing units. In HBDP, an empirical formula was introduced to predict the performance of host clusters potential for the intended typical big data computing, and it was shaped via a regression approach. With this empirical formula, it is easy to suggest an optimal cluster configuration. The investigation was based on a typical Hadoop computing ecosystem HDFS+Hive+Spark. A proper metric was raised to measure the performance of Hadoop clusters in HBDP, which was tested and compared with its predicted counterpart, on executing three kinds of typical SQL query tasks. Tests were conducted with respect to factors of CPU benchmark, memory size, virtual host division, and the number of element physical host in cluster. The research has been applied to practical cluster procurement for housing big data computing.

Keywords: Hadoop platform planning, optimal cluster scheme at fixed-fund, performance empirical formula, typical SQL query tasks.

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252 Food Security in Nigeria: An Examination of Food Availability and Accessibility in Nigeria

Authors: Chimaobi Valentine Okolo, Chizoba Obidigbo

Abstract:

As a basic physiology need, threat to sufficient food production is threat to human survival. Food security has been an issue that has gained global concern. This paper looks at the food security in Nigeria by assessing the availability of food and accessibility of the available food. The paper employed multiple linear regression technique and graphic trends of growth rates of relevant variables to show the situation of food security in Nigeria. Results of the tests revealed that population growth rate was higher than the growth rate of food availability in Nigeria for the earlier period of the study. Commercial bank credit to agricultural sector, foreign exchange utilization for food and the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF) contributed significantly to food availability in Nigeria. Food prices grew at a faster rate than the average income level, making it difficult to access sufficient food. It implies that prior to the year 2012; there was insufficient food to feed the Nigerian populace. However, continued credit to the food and agricultural sector will ensure sustained and sufficient production of food in Nigeria. Microfinance banks should make sufficient credit available to smallholder farmer. Government should further control and subsidize the rising price of food to make it more accessible by the people.

Keywords: Food security, food availability and food accessibility.

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251 Impediments to Female Sports Management and Participation: The Experience in the Selected Nigeria South West Colleges of Education

Authors: Saseyi Olaitan Olaoluwa, Osifeko Olalekan Remigious

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The study was meant to identify the impediments to female sports management and participation in the selected colleges. Seven colleges of education in the south west parts of the country were selected for the study. A total of one hundred and five subjects were sampled to supply data. Only one hundred adequately completed and returned, copies of the questionnaire were used for data analysis. The collected data were analysed descriptively. The result of the study showed that inadequate fund, personnel, facilities equipment, supplies, management of sports, supervision and coaching were some of the impediments to female sports management and participation. Athletes were not encouraged to participate. Based on the findings, it was recommended that the government should come to the aid of the colleges by providing fund and other needs that will make sports attractive for enhanced participation.

Keywords: Female sports, impediments, management, Nigeria, south west, colleges.

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250 Machine Learning Methods for Flood Hazard Mapping

Authors: S. Zappacosta, C. Bove, M. Carmela Marinelli, P. di Lauro, K. Spasenovic, L. Ostano, G. Aiello, M. Pietrosanto

Abstract:

This paper proposes a neural network approach for assessing flood hazard mapping. The core of the model is a machine learning component fed by frequency ratios, namely statistical correlations between flood event occurrences and a selected number of topographic properties. The classification capability was compared with the flood hazard mapping River Basin Plans (Piani Assetto Idrogeologico, acronimed as PAI) designed by the Italian Institute for Environmental Research and Defence, ISPRA (Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale), encoding four different increasing flood hazard levels. The study area of Piemonte, an Italian region, has been considered without loss of generality. The frequency ratios may be used as a standalone block to model the flood hazard mapping. Nevertheless, the mixture with a neural network improves the classification power of several percentage points, and may be proposed as a basic tool to model the flood hazard map in a wider scope.

Keywords: flood modeling, hazard map, neural networks, hydrogeological risk, flood risk assessment

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249 Dynamic TDMA Slot Reservation Protocol for QoS Provisioning in Cognitive Radio Ad Hoc Networks

Authors: S. M. Kamruzzaman

Abstract:

In this paper, we propose a dynamic TDMA slot reservation (DTSR) protocol for cognitive radio ad hoc networks. Quality of Service (QoS) guarantee plays a critically important role in such networks. We consider the problem of providing QoS guarantee to users as well as to maintain the most efficient use of scarce bandwidth resources. According to one hop neighboring information and the bandwidth requirement, our proposed protocol dynamically changes the frame length and the transmission schedule. A dynamic frame length expansion and shrinking scheme that controls the excessive increase of unassigned slots has been proposed. This method efficiently utilizes the channel bandwidth by assigning unused slots to new neighboring nodes and increasing the frame length when the number of slots in the frame is insufficient to support the neighboring nodes. It also shrinks the frame length when half of the slots in the frame of a node are empty. An efficient slot reservation protocol not only guarantees successful data transmissions without collisions but also enhance channel spatial reuse to maximize the system throughput. Our proposed scheme, which provides both QoS guarantee and efficient resource utilization, be employed to optimize the channel spatial reuse and maximize the system throughput. Extensive simulation results show that the proposed mechanism achieves desirable performance in multichannel multi-rate cognitive radio ad hoc networks.

Keywords: TDMA, cognitive radio, ad hoc networks, QoSguarantee, dynamic frame length.

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248 The Net as a Living Experience of Distance Motherhood within Italian Culture

Authors: C. Papapicco

Abstract:

Motherhood is an existential human relationship that lasts for the whole life and is always interwoven with subjectivity and culture. As a result of the brain drain, the motherhood becomes motherhood at distance. Starting from the hypothesis that re-signification of the mother at distance practices is culturally relevant; the research aims to understand the experience of mother at a distance in order to extrapolate the strategies of management of the empty nest. Specifically, the research aims to evaluate the experience of a brain drain’s mother, who created a blog that intends to take care of other parents at a distance. Actually, the blog is the only artifact symbol of the Italian culture of motherhood at distance. In the research, a Netnographic Analysis of the blog mammedicervelliinfuga.com is offered with the aim of understanding if the online world becomes an opportunity to manage the role of mother at a distance. A narrative interview with the blog creator was conducted and then the texts were analyzed by means of a Diatextual Analysis approach. It emerged that the migration projects of talented children take on different meanings and representations for parents. Thus, it is shown that the blog becomes a new form of understanding and practicing motherhood at a distance.

Keywords: Brain drain, diatextual analysis, distance motherhood blog, online and offline narrations.

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247 Corporate Fraud: An Analysis of Malaysian Securities Commission Enforcement Releases

Authors: Raziah Bi Mohamed Sadique, Jamal Roudaki, Murray B. Clark, Norhayati Alias

Abstract:

Economic crime (i.e. corporate fraud) has a significant impact on business. This study analyzes the fraud cases reported by the Malaysian Securities Commission. Frauds involving market manipulation and/or illegal share trading are the most common types of fraud reported over the 6 years analyzed. The highest number of frauds reported involved investment and fund holding companies. Alarmingly the results indicate quite a high number of frauds cases are committed by management. The higher number of Chinese perpetrators may be due to fact that they are the dominant group in Malaysian business. The result also shows that more than half of companies involved with fraud are privately held companies in the investment/fund/finance sector. The results of this study highlight general characteristic of perpetrators (person and company) that commit fraud which could help the regulators in their monitoring and enforcement activities. To investors, this would help in analyzing their business investment or portfolio risk.

Keywords: Corporate fraud, economic crime, fraudcharacteristic, perpetrators

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