316 Works

Regional active contours based on variational level sets and machine learning for image segmentation

Mohammed Abdelsamea
Image segmentation is the problem of partitioning an image into different subsets, where each subset may have a different characterization in terms of color, intensity, texture, and/or other features. Segmentation is a fundamental component of image processing, and plays a significant role in computer vision, object recognition, and object tracking. Active Contour Models (ACMs) constitute a powerful energy-based minimization framework for image segmentation, which relies on the concept of contour evolution. Starting from an initial...

Temporary migration and temporary integration: Canada and the UK in a comparative perspective

Sahizer Samuk
This thesis aims to compare and contrast the temporary migration policies of the UK and Canada between 1997 and 2014. These policies in the UK include the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Programme (SAWS), the Sector Based Scheme (SBS), domestic migrant workers and the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP). The policies examined in Canada are the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Programme (SAWP), the Temporary Foreign Worker Programme (TFWP), the Low-Skilled Migrant Programme, the High-Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) and...

Europe in hard times: driving institutional change during the Eurozone crisis

Alessio Sacchi
The goal of this research is to provide a mid-range rationalist explanation of the dynamics of institutional change occurred in the European Union during the sovereign debt crisis. My starting hypothesis is that the crisis may represent a driving force for the emergence of major institutional changes. Moreover, I claim that the policy outcomes adopted are not a pure reflection of actors' bargaining powers, but they are decidedly mediated by the existent institutional rules, and...

Essays on extreme value theory in economics and finance

Luca Trapin
Extreme value methods have been successfully applied in various disciplines with the purpose of estimating tail quantiles. The probabilistic results underlying the inference procedures for the extreme values rely on the assumption of independent and identically distributed (iid) random variables. However, empirical observations often present time variation and violate the iid assumption, thus the development of methods for modelling the extremes of dependent data is currently the subject of ongoing research. This thesis provides original...

The role of finance in economic development, income inequality and poverty reduction

Unal Seven
The financial sector is seen as performing critical functions in facilitating economic growth and, both directly through broadening access to finance and indirectly through growth, contributing to reductions in inequality and poverty by mobilizing savings, facilitating payments and trade of goods and services, and promoting efficient allocation of resources. This dissertation analyses the role of finance in economic development, income inequality and poverty reduction by differentiating between banks and stock markets. It also studies the...

Time series forecasting based on classification of dynamic patterns

Rodrigo Lopez Farias
This thesis addresses the problem of designing short-term forecasting models for water demand time series presenting nonlinear behaviour difficult to be fitted with single linear models. These behaviours can be identified and classified to build specialised models for performing local predictions given an estimated operational regime. Each behavior class is seen as a forecasting operation mode that activates a forecasting model. For this purpose we developed a general modular framework with three different implementations: An...

Exploring the social, strategic and community-based antecedents of norm-breaking behaviors: evidence from the Italian opera field

Giulia Cancellieri
Distinctiveness and conformity are core interests for researchers of organizations and management studies. Distinctiveness allows firms to cultivate new identities and styles and to contribute to the evolution of entire industries through innovation. However, conformity is recommended as audiences are more likely to accept organizations whose product offering follow widely established normative expectations embodied in conventional product features while sanctioning nonconforming behaviors that run against the taken for grantedness of established prescriptions. Several studies have...

Think tanks and international affairs during the interwar period: Ispi (Institute for Studies in International Politics) between foreign policy and public opinion (1919-1943)

Federico Giona
The object of analysis of this dissertation is the historical analysis of the Institute for Studies in International Politics (Ispi), from its founding in Milan in 1933 until it was compulsory mothballed after September 8th 1943. In confronting Ispi, the attempt is to approach Italy's international involvements during the interwar period from an unusual but meaningful standpoint. As a matter of fact, Ispi turns out to be a challenging as well as controversial subject of...

A Foundational Theory for Attribute-based Communication

Yehia Moustafa Abd Alrahman
In open systems, i.e. systems operating in unpredictable environments and with components that may join or leave at any time, behaviors can arise as side effects of intensive components interaction. Finding ways to understand and design these systems and, most of all, to model the interactions of their components, is a difficult but important endeavor. To tackle these issues, we present AbC, a calculus for attributebased communication. An AbC system consists of a set of...

Three Essays on Systemic Risk and Financial Stability

Andrea Flori
The recent financial turmoil has stressed the need to assess the risk contribution of market players to the sustainability of financial systems. Systemic risk detection is a current field of research which includes a variety of techniques borrowed from different methodologies. These approaches are designed to both evaluate how financial institutions contribute to the stability of the system and to measure how they are resilient against financial distress that might propagate throughout their connections. Cornerstone...

Searching in the Dark: Exploring the Technological Search Process during the Business Cycle and in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Daniela Silvestri
Technological innovation is considered as one of the main engine of long-term economic growth. Advancements in several domains have contributed to the outward shift of the production-possibility frontier paving the way to economic development. In particular, technological change occurs when new or improved technologies are introduced into the existing repertoire of knowledge. Drawing on the theory of recombinant invention, this dissertation explores the type and direction of the search process underlying inventions. Although there has...

Analysis of Polarized Communities in Online Social Networks

Mauro Coletto
Increasingly, people around the globe use Social Media (SM) - e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, Youtube - to publish multimedia content (posting), to share it (retweeting, reblogging or resharing), to reinforce it or not (liking, disliking, favoriting) and to discuss (through messages and comments) in order to be in contact with other users and to get informed about topics of interest. The world population is ? 7:4 billion people, among them ? 2:3 billion (31%)...

Fascism and nationalism in Cuba: a case study on the global projection on an European ideology

Andrea Virga
This thesis focuses on the diffusion of fascism in Cuba and its relationship with local nationalism, since up to now this question has not been studied satisfactorily by historiography, as most works on the subject still resent of World War propaganda. The research makes mostly use of original sources, both archival and printed, with the help of press and previous studies, in order to reconstruct and discuss historical events and ideological standpoints in Cuba, in...

Improving service quality in cloud computing: from definition to deployment

Vitaly Buravlev
Linda provides high-level linguistic abstractions for concurrent programming with operations for synchronization and exchange of values between different programs that share information by accessing common repositories named tuple spaces. Despite their expressive power and their simplicity, there are several challenges in implementing tuple space systems, which prevent the Linda model to be widespread. The goal of this work is to provide an efficient implementation of the Linda coordination model. As a starting point, we take...

Measuring Web Search Personalization

Van Tien Hoang
Joint registration and segmentation of varying contrast images is a fundamental task in the field of image analysis, despite yet open. In this thesis, novel techniques for the tasks of segmentation and registration are discussed separately and jointly. Cardiac Phaseresolved Blood Oxygen-Level-Dependent (CP-BOLD) MRI is a new contrast agent- and stress-free imaging technique for the assessment of myocardial ischemia at rest. However, it introduces varying contrast in medical image analysis applications. Therefore, establishing voxel to...

The DReAM framework: a logic-inspired approach to reconfigurable system modeling

Alessandro Maggi
Modern systems evolve in unpredictable environments and have to continuously adapt their behavior to changing conditions. The DReAM (Dynamic Reconfigurable Architecture Modeling) framework has been designed to address these requirements by offering the tools for modeling reconfigurable dynamic systems effectively. At its core, the framework allows component-based architecture design leveraging a rule-based language, inspired from Interaction Logic. The expressiveness of the language allows us to define the behavior of both components and components aggregates encompassing...

Wilderness production in the Southern Carpathian Mountains. Towards a political ecology of 'untouched nature'

George-Adrian Iordăchescu
This dissertation addresses a current interest in wild nature protection in Romania. As the phenomenon is spreading within the European periphery, this research aims to understand the discursive and material production of wilderness by examining the development of a legal framework for ‘virgin forest’1 protection, and by scrutinizing the creation of a private wilderness reserve. Building on recent political ecology scholarship, and adopting a critical realist position it asks: which are the most important societal...

Maria, Medea e le altre: i volti ambivalenti della madre. Feminist re-articulations of the representation of maternity in the 20th century Italy

Chiara Iorino
This research project investigates the connections between visual culture and feminist movements through representations of maternity made by women. The thesis considers a period that runs from the foundation of the Consiglio Nazionale delle Donne Italiane, in 1903, to the year following the 1981 referendums on the Law 194, which disciplines the modalities of access to abortion. Over this period, the representation of maternity was a battlefield where different models of womanhood fought each other....

Essays on contest experiments and supervised learning in the pharmaceutical industry

Jan Niederreiter
The field of economics witnesses a growing interest to better understand how individuals form decisions and how these decisions can be supported with the help of sophisticated datamining tools. The first half of the thesis analyzes investment decisions in a competitive environment that is free of confounding factors by means of experimental data. The second half focuses on how supervised learning algorithms can be applied to predict the outcome and perceived success probability of pharmaceutical...

Fine but liberal: the Roman revolution and the art scene of Rome (1846-1849)

Tiziano Antognozzi
This work intends to offer a contribution to the history of the artistic scene of Rome in the 19th century alongside the decline and fall of the Catholic theocratic regime in the Papal States by focusing on a specific moment of the city’s history known as the “Roman Revolution”, namely the years that went from the election of Pius IX (June 16, 1846) to the end of the Roman Republic (July 3, 1849). Indeed, the...

Essays in Applied Economics, Migration, and Conflict

Armando Di Lillo
This dissertation is a collection of three independent essays in Applied Economics, Migration and Conflict. Chapter 2 focuses on the interconnectedness between labour market division, economic rents concentration, political extremism, and ethnic conflict. A natural experiment of history that occurred in the late 1960s in South Tyrol, a northernmost and predominantly German-speaking region of Italy, is exploited to investigate whether frictions in the labour market may induce a move in the voting preferences of a...

A variational approach to brittle fracture and cohesive delamination:modelling and technological applications

Valerio Carollo
A new computational model is used for the study of fracture phenomena in homogeneous and composite materials. The computational model is based on the coupling between the phase field model and the cohesive zone model within the framework of the finite element method. This model is adopted from literature and consistently extended. The enhancements enclose the combination of the model with plasticity and its extension to the 3D finite elasticity framework. This extension is formulated...

Worldwide diffusion of solar photovoltaic panels and the role of state incentive: perspectives based on diffusion models

Anita Mariana Bunea
The main goal of this thesis is to use the diffusion models to improve our understanding of SPP markets, with special focus on (a) identifying the main determinants of the diffusion of solar photovoltaic panels worldwide, particularly the role played so far by public incentives, (b) characterising the scale and temporal profiles of the major domestic shocks in SPP markets which mostly occurred after 2007, (c) discussing the resulting perspectives, and the involved role of...

Production networks, firm productivity and geography

Loredana Fattorini
Modern economies are organised as webs of interconnected agents. Among others, companies represent the principal actors. In the recent decades, the emergence of supply networks, that is the organisation of technical processes in production stages involving specialised suppliers located in different countries, brings about an increasing complexity in the worldwide economic system. Moreover, empirical studies from firm-level data provide evidence of heterogeneous distribution in companies performance also within industries, regions and countries. However, when discussing...

Cancer tissue classification from DCE-MRI data using pattern recognition techniques

Maria Venianaki
Cancer research has significantly advanced in recent years mainly through developments in medical genomics and bioinformatics. It is expected that such approaches will result in more durable tumor control and fewer side effects compared with conventional treatments such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy. From the imaging standpoint, non-invasive imaging biomarkers (IBs) that assess angiogenic response and tumor environment at an early stage of therapy are of utmost importance since they could provide useful insights into therapy...

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