University of Padova
  • Padova, Veneto, Italy
Recent publications
Uncertainty is unavoidable in modeling dynamical systems and it may be represented mathematically by differential inclusions. In the past, we proposed an algorithm to compute validated solutions of differential inclusions; here we provide several theoretical improvements to the algorithm, including its extension to piecewise constant and sinusoidal approximations of uncertain inputs, updates on the affine approximation bounds and a generalized formula for the analytical error. The approach proposed is able to achieve higher order convergence with respect to the current state-of-the-art. We implemented the methodology in Ariadne, a library for the verification of continuous and hybrid systems. For evaluation purposes, we introduce ten systems from the literature, with varying degrees of nonlinearity, number of variables and uncertain inputs. The results are hereby compared with two state-of-the-art approaches to time-varying uncertainties in nonlinear systems.
Recollection, rather than familiarity, seems to play a crucial part in sustaining children’s reading comprehension. However, the roles of recollection and familiarity in both word reading and reading comprehension have yet to be fully understood. In this study, we examined estimates of recollection and familiarity in a working memory updating task using an adaptation of the process dissociation procedure. Our study involved 204 children aged 9–11 years. We administered a keeping track task in which lists of words belonging to various semantic categories (e.g., animals) were presented. The children had to follow two sets of instructions: (a) inclusion, which involved saying whether they had seen a word during the previous learning phase, and b) exclusion, which involved saying whether a word was the last one they had seen that belonged to a given category. Our results showed that recollection contributed to explain reading comprehension, but not word reading, performance. Familiarity, instead, did not predict either of the reading measures (word reading or reading comprehension). We discuss these findings in terms of the importance of considering recollection when studying reading processes during development. Alternative explanations considering the role of WM executive functioning are also considered.
A comprehensive knowledge of architectural and engineering assets can be implemented involving IT tools that allow, through interoperable 3D modeling, a more immediate visualization and interaction of shapes and structures in virtual space. The conception of such a process then provides for a close integration between creative thinking, scientific knowledge, and operational practice, as well as a series of checks and modifications. Through processes for parametric modeling of a specific case study – the Frontón Recoletos in Madrid – we intend to explore the perspective offered by current software regarding the development of geometric-structural concepts of architectural/engineering works. KeywordsComputational geometryRepresentationBuilding information modeling
To use TRIP-steels is the perspective way to improve properties of the manufactured items especially in the automotive industry. The main peculiarity of this kind of steel is the ability to combine strength and ductility in different kinds of the applied deformational processing. But behavior of TRIP-steel under loading is described on the data achieved after experimental investigation. Peculiarities of microstructure transformations typical to TRIP-steel should be taken into account when it is necessary to predict the behavior of this kind of steel under loading. Because the desired set of properties in these steels is formed due to the partial preservation of supercooled austenite in the structure it is obvious to use such method of simulation which makes it possible to take into account the microstructure parameters. It is shown that method of Statistically Similar Representative Volume Elements (SSRVE) allows comparing the behavior of steel with TRIP-effect and without it. The paper presents the results of simulation based on SSRVE which was used to get the optimized topology of the complexly loaded bracket. The obtained data can be used to design parts with complex shape from TRIP-steel which are exploited under extreme loads.
Introduction According to the recent adaptation of the I-PACE model, desire thinking and craving might be closely related to problematic Internet pornography use. The overall aim of the present study was to investigate the role of two components of desire thinking (imaginal prefiguration and verbal perseveration) and craving in problematic Internet pornography use. Furthermore, we examined gender differences in the underlying mechanism linking desire thinking to problematic Internet pornography use. Method A total of 414 Italian adults (mean age = 27.55 years, SD = 6.13; age range= 18 – 58; 53.6% men) participated in this study. Participants completed an online survey to assess problematic Internet pornography use, pornography craving, desire thinking and problematic Internet use. Path analyses and a multi-group approach were used to test the relationships among variables and to explore gender differences. Results Imaginal prefiguration was associated to pornography craving which, in turn, was associated to verbal perseveration as proximal antecedent of problematic Internet pornography use, above and beyond the effect of age, relationship status, and problematic Internet use. Two paths significantly differed between men and women: the path between verbal perseveration and problematic Internet pornography, which for women was weaker and did not reach significance; and the path between problematic Internet use and problematic Internet pornography use that was not significant for women. Conclusions In line with the I-PACE model, the present study provided support for the potential role of desire thinking in problematic Internet pornography use as a specific Internet-use disorder and expanded the literature in the field by testing unexplored gender differences. Preventive and clinical implications are discussed.
Robustness of Linear Mixed Models (LMM) with random effects is investigated with the forward search (FS). Extending the FS to LMM offers new computational challenges, as some restrictions, imposed by the model and their estimates, are required. The method is illustrated by an application to real data where exports of coffee to European Union are analyzed to identify outliers that might be linked to potential frauds. An additional short simulation is presented to strengthen the usefulness of the proposed method.
Weather hazards and changing climatic regimes combined with socio-cultural changes are forcing farmers living in Algerian steppe territories to find new strategies to maintain their business, particularly in terms of animal feeding sources. Animal’s nutritional needs in the past used to be met mainly by grazing lands which nowadays cover less than 40% of feeding sources. This study aimed to determine the status of livestock system practices used by breeders in Algerian steppe territories and presents a novel method in identifying intensive systems. Data were obtained from 90 farms through a survey in the province of Tebessa. The farms were divided by their characteristics with a discriminant analysis by zone to know the characteristics of each region. Moreover, a discriminant analysis was performed to select the variables that best differentiated the farms characterised by a different percentage of feed purchased (PFP), which was taken as an index of intensive management. A stepwise regression analysis was also conducted to get predictors variables that mainly influence the percentage of feed purchased and characterise the intensive livestock farms in this area. As a result, livestock systems in steppe territories are up to changing to more intensive forms. These trends appear as solutions for farmers to improve their productivity in the face of various problems. Nevertheless, not to worsen the situation of livestock farming with the orientation towards the intensive system, it is important for farmers to be informed about international policies for practising intensive livestock farming. • HIGHLIGHTS • The current state of livestock production and practices was identified in the steppe areas. • The percentage of purchased feed had greater effects in determining the nature of the livestock systems and identifying intensive systems. • The use of modelling techniques in the identification of livestock intensification could be successfully used in the differentiation of livestock systems.
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a complex immune-mediated disease in which the gut microbiota plays a central role, and may determine prognosis and disease progression. We aimed to assess whether a specific microbiota profile, as measured by a machine learning approach, can be associated with disease severity in patients with UC. In this prospective pilot study, consecutive patients with active or inactive UC and healthy controls (HCs) were enrolled. Stool samples were collected for fecal microbiota assessment analysis by 16S rRNA gene sequencing approach. A machine learning approach was used to predict the groups' separation. Thirty-six HCs and forty-six patients with UC (20 active and 26 inactive) were enrolled. Alpha diversity was significantly different between the three groups (Shannon index: p-values: active UC vs HCs = 0.0005; active UC vs inactive UC = 0.0273; HCs vs inactive UC = 0.0260). In particular, patients with active UC showed the lowest values, followed by patients with inactive UC, and HCs. At species level, we found high levels of Bifidobacterium adolescentis and Haemophilus parainfluenzae in inactive UC and active UC, respectively. A specific microbiota profile was found for each group and was confirmed with sparse partial least squares discriminant analysis, a machine learning-supervised approach. The latter allowed us to observe a perfect class prediction and group separation using the complete information (full Operational Taxonomic Unit table), with a minimal loss in performance when using only 5% of features. A machine learning approach to 16S rRNA data identifies a bacterial signature characterizing different degrees of disease activity in UC. Follow-up studies will clarify whether such microbiota profiling are useful for diagnosis and management.
The aim of the present study was to develop a model to predict muscularity and body condition score (BCS) during the lactation of Italian Simmental dairy cows in Emilia Romagna herds. A total of 2656 Italian Simmental primiparous cows from 324 dairy herds were linear classified between 2002 and 2020. Lactation curves for muscularity and BCS were modelled for each cow using random regression model. The model included the fixed effects of age at linear scoring and days in milk modelled with a Legendre polynomial, and the random effects of herd-year of classification, cow and days in milk for each cow modelled with Legendre polynomials. The most parsimonious model included a fixed cubic Legendre polynomial and a random linear polynomial for cow effects. Results indicated that, on an average, BCS nadir was anticipated to that of muscularity, and, in both cases, this moment was around the lactation peak, when animals have the greatest nutrients requirement. After this period, both BCS and muscularity recovered up to post-partum levels. Moreover, after the 9 month of lactation, the absolute growth rate of muscularity and BCS was negative, suggesting that late-gestating cows could potentially enter a phase of body conformation loss. Results reported in the current research indicate that random regression using Legendre polynomials can be successfully employed to predict muscularity and BCS during the lactation of dairy cows.Highlights Modelling dairy cows’ muscularity and BCS allows to use these parameters as indicator traits for functionality in dairy cows. The use of prediction model of muscularity and BCS allows to understand the evolution of these conformation traits during the lactation. The analysis of muscularity and BCS allows to assess health and welfare status of dairy cows, which is essential to maximise production performances. © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Despite a huge effort by the scientific community to determine the animal reservoir of SARS-CoV-2, which led to the identification of several SARS-CoV-2-related viruses both in bats and in pangolins, the origin of SARS-CoV-2 is still not clear. Recently, Temmam et al. reported the discovery of bat coronaviruses with a high degree of genome similarity with SARS-CoV-2, especially concerning the RBDs of the S protein, which mediates the capability of such viruses to enter and therefore infect human cells through a hACE2-dependent pathway. These viruses, especially the one named BANAL-236, showed a higher affinity for the hACE2 compared to the original strain of SARS-CoV-2. In the present work, we analyse the similarities and differences between the 3CL protease (main protease, Mpro) of these newly reported viruses and SARS-CoV-2, discussing their relevance relative to the efficacy of existing therapeutic approaches against COVID-19, particularly concerning the recently approved orally available Paxlovid, and the development of future ones. © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
The misuse of antibiotics in the animal sector is the main driver of antibiotic resistance. More than 80% of Italian beef cattle imported from France are Charolais, which undergo a commingling procedure before reaching Italian fattening farms. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of commingling Charolais cattle in France on antibiotic use (AMU) and animals’ performances in Italy. A total of 19,756 young bulls from 449 batches transported to Italy between 2016 and 2018 were considered. Carcase weight (CW), slaughter age (SA), antibiotic treatments, vaccinations information and the French department of origin were available for each animal. Also, treatment incidence 100 (TI100it) and average daily carcase gain (ADCG) were calculated. Three classes of commingling were assigned to each animal according to the French department of origin. A linear mixed model was used to investigate sources of variation of CW, SA, ADCG and TI100it. Respiratory diseases were the main reasons for treatment and macrolides were the most used class of antibiotics. The TI100it decreased by 11% from 2016 to 2018 (p < .05). Animals that went through the highest level of commingling had lighter CW, lower ADCG and greater TI100it than animals subjected to lower commingling (p < .05). Younger animals reached higher TI100it than older ones (p < .05). Younger and highly commingled animals had higher TI100it (p < .001) than older animals equally commingled. This first-of-its-kind study showed that commingling procedures increase the risk of AMU and affect the performances of Charolais cattle. • Commingling procedures increase the use of antibiotics and penalise animals’ performances. • Younger and highly commingled animals are at greater risk of being treated. • Reducing commingling levels can be an effective strategy to reduce antibiotic use in beef cattle
Grazing behaviour influences animal productivity and the conservation of grassland ecosystem services. We used GPS tracking and remote sensing (NDVI index) to monitor the grazing patterns of lactating cows on the ‘Malga Ombretta’ summer farm (1,957m asl) in the Dolomites, eastern Italian Alps, from 5th July to 5th August 2018. The pasture area (35 ha) was grazed by a mixed herd of Simmental and Alpine grey cows (stocking density ¼ 0.6 LU/ha) under traditional management: each morning the farmer led the cows to graze in a selected sub-area of pasture, and during the afternoon he left them free to graze unrestricted until they returned to the barn for the night. GPS positions were collected every minute from 9 Simmental and 4 Alpine Grey cows with low milk production during the time they were outdoors. The farmer’s choice of where to drive the herd to graze in the morning determined the distances the cows walked/day, which varied from 2.0 to 8.9 km, and favoured the use of higher and steeper areas that the cows tended otherwise to avoid. When free in the afternoon, the cows selected areas with higher NDVI values than those selected by the farmer in the morning, and Alpine Grey cows used slightly higher slopes and altitudes than Simmental cows, suggesting better adaptation to mountain pastures. The study revealed highly heterogenous grazing patterns dependent on multiple factors that can be assessed at fine temporal and spatial scales using GPS and remote sensing technologies to improve grazing management.
Background Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is characterized by potentially severe and life-threatening attacks of localized swelling. Prophylactic therapies are available, including attenuated androgens. Efficacy of attenuated androgens has not been assessed in large, randomized, placebo-controlled trials and can be associated with frequent, and sometimes severe, side effects. As better tolerated targeted therapies become available, attenuated androgen withdrawal is increasingly considered by physicians and their patients with HAE. Attenuated androgens withdrawal has not been systematically studied in HAE, although examination of other disorders indicates that attenuated androgen withdrawal may result in mood disturbances and flu-like symptoms. Standardized protocols for attenuated androgen discontinuation that continue to provide control of attacks while limiting potential attenuated androgen withdrawal symptoms are not established as the outcomes of different withdrawal strategies have not been compared. We aim to describe the challenges of attenuated androgen discontinuation in patients with HAE and how these may continue into the post-androgen period. Case presentation We present a retrospective case series of 10 patients with confirmed type I HAE who have discontinued prophylactic treatment with attenuated androgens. The most common reason for attenuated androgen discontinuation was side effects. Attenuated androgens were either immediately withdrawn, tapered and/or overlapped with another treatment. The major challenge of discontinuation was the management of an increased frequency and severity of HAE attacks in some patients. Conclusions Healthcare teams need to undertake careful planning and monitoring after attenuated androgens discontinuation, and modify treatment strategies if HAE control is destabilized with an increased number of attacks. Discontinuation of attenuated androgens is definitively an option in an evolving HAE treatment landscape, and outcomes can be favourable with additional patient support and education.
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25,894 members
Massimo De Marchi
  • Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering ICEA
Carlo Fantozzi
  • Department of Information Engineering
Ferdinando Maggioni
  • Department of Neurosciences
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Prof.ssa Daniela Mapelli
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