Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 13

Search results for: Silvia Menato

13 A Multi-Level Approach to Improve Sustainability Performances of Industrial Agglomerations

Authors: Patrick Innocenti, Elias Montini, Silvia Menato, Marzio Sorlini

Abstract:

Documented experiences of industrial symbiosis are always triggered and driven only by economic goals: environmental and (even rarely) social results are sometimes assessed and declared as effects of virtuous behaviours, but are merely casual and un-pursued side externalities. Even worse: all the symbiotic project candidates entailing economic loss for just one of the (also dozen) partners are simply stopped without considering the overall benefit for the whole partnership. The here-presented approach aims at providing methodologies and tools to effectively manage these situations and fostering the implementation of virtuous symbiotic investments in manufacturing aggregations for a more sustainable production.

Keywords: Business model, industrial symbiosis, industrial agglomerations, sustainability.

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12 Antibacterial and Antifungal Activity Assesment of Nigella Sativa Essential Oils

Authors: Entela Haloci, Stefano Manfredini, Vilma Toska, Silvia Vertuani, Paola Ziosi, Irma Topi, Henri Kolani

Abstract:

Antifungal activities of ether and methanolic extracts of volatiles oils of Nigella Sativa seeds were tested against pathogenic bacterias and fungies strains.The volatile oil were found to have significant antifungal and antibacterial activities compare to tetracycline, cefuroxime and ciprofloxacin positive controls.The ether and methanolic esxtracts were compared to each other for antifungal and antibacterial activities and ether extracts showed stonger activity than methanolic one.

Keywords: Antifungal, antibacterial, essential oils, extraction, Nigella Sativa.

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11 Some Aspects Regarding I. R. Absorbing Materials Based On Thin Alumina Films for Solar-Thermal Energy Conversion, Using X-Ray Diffraction Technique

Authors: Sorina Adriana Mitrea, Silvia Maria Hodorogea, Anca Duta, Luminita Isac, Elena Purghel, Mihaela Voinea

Abstract:

Solar energy is the most “available", ecological and clean energy. This energy can be used in active or passive mode. The active mode implies the transformation of solar energy into a useful energy. The solar energy can be transformed into thermal energy, using solar collectors. In these collectors, the active and the most important element is the absorber, material which performs the absorption of solar radiation and, in at the same time, limits its reflection. The paper presents some aspects regarding the IR absorbing material – a type of cermets, used as absorber in the solar collectors, by X Ray Diffraction Technique (XRD) characterization.

Keywords: Alumina films, solar energy, X-ray diffraction.

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10 Modeling User Behaviour by Planning

Authors: Alfredo Milani, Silvia Suriani

Abstract:

A model of user behaviour based automated planning is introduced in this work. The behaviour of users of web interactive systems can be described in term of a planning domain encapsulating the timed actions patterns representing the intended user profile. The user behaviour recognition is then posed as a planning problem where the goal is to parse a given sequence of user logs of the observed activities while reaching a final state. A general technique for transforming a timed finite state automata description of the behaviour into a numerical parameter planning model is introduced. Experimental results show that the performance of a planning based behaviour model is effective and scalable for real world applications. A major advantage of the planning based approach is to represent in a single automated reasoning framework problems of plan recognitions, plan synthesis and plan optimisation.

Keywords: User behaviour, Timed Transition Automata, Automated Planning.

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9 A Bacterial Foraging Optimization Algorithm Applied to the Synthesis of Polyacrylamide Hydrogels

Authors: Florin Leon, Silvia Curteanu

Abstract:

The Bacterial Foraging Optimization (BFO) algorithm is inspired by the behavior of bacteria such as Escherichia coli or Myxococcus xanthus when searching for food, more precisely the chemotaxis behavior. Bacteria perceive chemical gradients in the environment, such as nutrients, and also other individual bacteria, and move toward or in the opposite direction to those signals. The application example considered as a case study consists in establishing the dependency between the reaction yield of hydrogels based on polyacrylamide and the working conditions such as time, temperature, monomer, initiator, crosslinking agent and inclusion polymer concentrations, as well as type of the polymer added. This process is modeled with a neural network which is included in an optimization procedure based on BFO. An experimental study of BFO parameters is performed. The results show that the algorithm is quite robust and can obtain good results for diverse combinations of parameter values.

Keywords: Bacterial foraging optimization, hydrogels, neural networks, modeling.

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8 Operative Public Space for Rural Brazil Strategies for Starting Up Economic, Social and Environmental Development of Rural Communities in Emerging Countries: The Goiabeira Case

Authors: Alessandra Battisti, Silvia Cimini

Abstract:

This article stands in the context of rural communities in Brazil, where, like many others emerging countries, the overwhelming increasing markets and the overcrowded cities are leaving behind informal settlements based on obsolete agricultural economies and techniques. The pilot project for the community of Goiabeira reflects the attempt to imagine a development model that privileges the actual improvement of living conditions, the education and training, the social inclusion and participation of the dwellers of rural communities. Through the inclusion of operative public space, the aim is for them to become self-sustaining, encouraging the use of local resources for appropriate architectural, ecological and energy technologies and devices, that are efficient, affordable and foster community participation, in the respect of the surrounding environment.

Keywords: Economical development, environment conservation, local resources, participation and social inclusion.

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7 Designing and Evaluating Pedagogic Conversational Agents to Teach Children

Authors: Silvia Tamayo-Moreno, Diana Pérez-Marín

Abstract:

In this paper, the possibility of children studying by using an interactive learning technology called Pedagogic Conversational Agent is presented. The main benefit is that the agent is able to adapt the dialogue to each student and to provide automatic feedback. Moreover, according to Math teachers, in many cases students are unable to solve the problems even knowing the procedure to solve them, because they do not understand what they have to do. The hypothesis is that if students are helped to understand what they have to solve, they will be able to do it. Taken that into account, we have started the development of Dr. Roland, an agent to help students understand Math problems following a User-Centered Design methodology. The use of this methodology is proposed, for the first time, to design pedagogic agents to teach any subject from Secondary down to Pre-Primary education. The reason behind proposing a methodology is that while working on this project, we noticed the lack of literature to design and evaluate agents. To cover this gap, we describe how User-Centered Design can be applied, and which usability techniques can be applied to evaluate the agent.

Keywords: Pedagogic conversational agent, human-computer interaction, user-centered design, natural language interface.

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6 Logic Programming and Artificial Neural Networks in Pharmacological Screening of Schinus Essential Oils

Authors: José Neves, M. Rosário Martins, Fátima Candeias, Diana Ferreira, Sílvia Arantes, Júlio Cruz-Morais, Guida Gomes, Joaquim Macedo, António Abelha, Henrique Vicente

Abstract:

Some plants of genus Schinus have been used in the folk medicine as topical antiseptic, digestive, purgative, diuretic, analgesic or antidepressant, and also for respiratory and urinary infections. Chemical composition of essential oils of S. molle and S. terebinthifolius had been evaluated and presented high variability according with the part of the plant studied and with the geographic and climatic regions. The pharmacological properties, namely antimicrobial, anti-tumoural and anti-inflammatory activities are conditioned by chemical composition of essential oils. Taking into account the difficulty to infer the pharmacological properties of Schinus essential oils without hard experimental approach, this work will focus on the development of a decision support system, in terms of its knowledge representation and reasoning procedures, under a formal framework based on Logic Programming, complemented with an approach to computing centered on Artificial Neural Networks and the respective Degree-of-Confidence that one has on such an occurrence.

Keywords: Artificial neuronal networks, essential oils, knowledge representation and reasoning, logic programming, Schinus molle L, Schinus terebinthifolius raddi.

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5 Mineral Nitrogen Retention, Nitrogen Availability and Plant Growth in the Soil Influenced by Addition of Organic and Mineral Fertilizers – Lysimetric Experiment

Authors: Lukáš Plošek, Jaroslav Hynšt, Jaroslav Záhora, Jakub Elbl, Antonín Kintl, Ivana Charousová, Silvia Kovácsová

Abstract:

Compost can influence soil fertility and plant health. At the same time compost can play an important role in the nitrogen cycle and it can influence leaching of mineral nitrogen from soil to underground water.

This paper deals with the influence of compost addition and mineral nitrogen fertilizer on leaching of mineral nitrogen, nitrogen availability in microbial biomass and plant biomass production in the lysimetric experiment. Twenty one lysimeters were filed with topsoil and subsoil collected in the area of protection zone of underground source of drinking water - Březová nad Svitavou. The highest leaching of mineral nitrogen was detected in the variant fertilized only mineral nitrogen fertilizer (624.58 mg m-2), the lowest leaching was recorded in the variant with high addition of compost (315.51 mg m-2). On the other hand, losses of mineral nitrogen are not in connection with the losses of available form of nitrogen in microbial biomass. Because lost of mineral nitrogen was detected in variant with the least change in the availability of N in microbial biomass.

The leaching of mineral nitrogen, yields as well as the results concerning nitrogen availability from the first year of long term experiment suggest that compost can positive influence the leaching of nitrogen into underground water.

Keywords: Nitrogen, Compost, Biomass production, Lysimeter.

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4 Performance Assessment of Multi-Level Ensemble for Multi-Class Problems

Authors: Rodolfo Lorbieski, Silvia Modesto Nassar

Abstract:

Many supervised machine learning tasks require decision making across numerous different classes. Multi-class classification has several applications, such as face recognition, text recognition and medical diagnostics. The objective of this article is to analyze an adapted method of Stacking in multi-class problems, which combines ensembles within the ensemble itself. For this purpose, a training similar to Stacking was used, but with three levels, where the final decision-maker (level 2) performs its training by combining outputs from the tree-based pair of meta-classifiers (level 1) from Bayesian families. These are in turn trained by pairs of base classifiers (level 0) of the same family. This strategy seeks to promote diversity among the ensembles forming the meta-classifier level 2. Three performance measures were used: (1) accuracy, (2) area under the ROC curve, and (3) time for three factors: (a) datasets, (b) experiments and (c) levels. To compare the factors, ANOVA three-way test was executed for each performance measure, considering 5 datasets by 25 experiments by 3 levels. A triple interaction between factors was observed only in time. The accuracy and area under the ROC curve presented similar results, showing a double interaction between level and experiment, as well as for the dataset factor. It was concluded that level 2 had an average performance above the other levels and that the proposed method is especially efficient for multi-class problems when compared to binary problems.

Keywords: Stacking, multi-layers, ensemble, multi-class.

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3 Performance Comparison of Different Regression Methods for a Polymerization Process with Adaptive Sampling

Authors: Florin Leon, Silvia Curteanu

Abstract:

Developing complete mechanistic models for polymerization reactors is not easy, because complex reactions occur simultaneously; there is a large number of kinetic parameters involved and sometimes the chemical and physical phenomena for mixtures involving polymers are poorly understood. To overcome these difficulties, empirical models based on sampled data can be used instead, namely regression methods typical of machine learning field. They have the ability to learn the trends of a process without any knowledge about its particular physical and chemical laws. Therefore, they are useful for modeling complex processes, such as the free radical polymerization of methyl methacrylate achieved in a batch bulk process. The goal is to generate accurate predictions of monomer conversion, numerical average molecular weight and gravimetrical average molecular weight. This process is associated with non-linear gel and glass effects. For this purpose, an adaptive sampling technique is presented, which can select more samples around the regions where the values have a higher variation. Several machine learning methods are used for the modeling and their performance is compared: support vector machines, k-nearest neighbor, k-nearest neighbor and random forest, as well as an original algorithm, large margin nearest neighbor regression. The suggested method provides very good results compared to the other well-known regression algorithms.

Keywords: Adaptive sampling, batch bulk methyl methacrylate polymerization, large margin nearest neighbor regression, machine learning.

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2 Gender Justice and Feminist Self-Management Practices in the Solidarity Economy: A Quantitative Analysis of the Factors that Impact Enterprises Formed by Women in Brazil

Authors: Maria de Nazaré Moraes Soares, Silvia Maria Dias Pedro Rebouças, José Carlos Lázaro

Abstract:

The Solidarity Economy (SE) acts in the re-articulation of the economic field to the other spheres of social action. The significant participation of women in SE resulted in the formation of a national network of self-managed enterprises in Brazil: The Solidarity and Feminist Economy Network (SFEN). The objective of the research is to identify factors of gender justice and feminist self-management practices that adhere to the reality of women in SE enterprises. The conceptual apparatus related to feminist studies in this research covers Nancy Fraser approaches on gender justice, and Patricia Yancey Martin approaches on feminist management practices, and authors of postcolonial feminism such as Mohanty and Maria Lugones, who lead the discussion to peripheral contexts, a necessary perspective when observing the women’s movement in SE. The research has a quantitative nature in the phases of data collection and analysis. The data collection was performed through two data sources: the database mapped in Brazil in 2010-2013 by the National Information System in Solidary Economy and 150 questionnaires with women from 16 enterprises in SFEN, in a state of Brazilian northeast. The data were analyzed using the multivariate statistical technique of Factor Analysis. The results show that the factors that define gender justice and feminist self-management practices in SE are interrelated in several levels, proving statistically the intersectional condition of the issue of women. The evidence from the quantitative analysis allowed us to understand the dimensions of gender justice and feminist management practices intersectionality; in this sense, the non-distribution of domestic work interferes in non-representation of women in public spaces, especially in peripheral contexts. The study contributes with important reflections to the studies of this area and can be complemented in the future with a qualitative research that approaches the perspective of women in the context of the SE self-management paradigm.

Keywords: Feminist management practices, gender justice, self-management, solidarity economy.

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1 Affective Robots: Evaluation of Automatic Emotion Recognition Approaches on a Humanoid Robot towards Emotionally Intelligent Machines

Authors: Silvia Santano Guillén, Luigi Lo Iacono, Christian Meder

Abstract:

One of the main aims of current social robotic research is to improve the robots’ abilities to interact with humans. In order to achieve an interaction similar to that among humans, robots should be able to communicate in an intuitive and natural way and appropriately interpret human affects during social interactions. Similarly to how humans are able to recognize emotions in other humans, machines are capable of extracting information from the various ways humans convey emotions—including facial expression, speech, gesture or text—and using this information for improved human computer interaction. This can be described as Affective Computing, an interdisciplinary field that expands into otherwise unrelated fields like psychology and cognitive science and involves the research and development of systems that can recognize and interpret human affects. To leverage these emotional capabilities by embedding them in humanoid robots is the foundation of the concept Affective Robots, which has the objective of making robots capable of sensing the user’s current mood and personality traits and adapt their behavior in the most appropriate manner based on that. In this paper, the emotion recognition capabilities of the humanoid robot Pepper are experimentally explored, based on the facial expressions for the so-called basic emotions, as well as how it performs in contrast to other state-of-the-art approaches with both expression databases compiled in academic environments and real subjects showing posed expressions as well as spontaneous emotional reactions. The experiments’ results show that the detection accuracy amongst the evaluated approaches differs substantially. The introduced experiments offer a general structure and approach for conducting such experimental evaluations. The paper further suggests that the most meaningful results are obtained by conducting experiments with real subjects expressing the emotions as spontaneous reactions.

Keywords: Affective computing, emotion recognition, humanoid robot, Human-Robot-Interaction (HRI), social robots.

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