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Bolzano, Italy

The Free University of Bozen-Bolzano is a university primarily located in Bolzano, Italy. It was founded on 31 October 1997 and is organized into five Faculties.The Free University of Bozen-Bolzano aims to offer students a multilingual, practice-oriented education that meets the demands of the local and the European labour market. Lectures and seminars are held in German, Italian and English. The only exception is the Faculty of Education, which offers German, Italian and Ladin speaking students separate training sections. The university offers study programmes ranging from bachelor's degrees to doctorates.The emphasis of teaching is to provide theoretically sound and practice-orientated training. A large proportion of educational activities take place as seminars, lectures given by guest speakers, practical training and workshops. Within the framework of the academic exchange program students are encouraged to spend one or more semesters at universities abroad. Wikipedia.

Fischer C.,Free University of Bozen Bolzano
Supply Chain Management | Year: 2013

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to assess and explain the trust situation in EU agri-food supply chains in the context of the assumption that the existence of well-functioning trust-based supplier-buyer relationships enables a secure and safe food supply. Design/methodology/approach: Using structural equation modelling (SEM) and survey data (n=1,430) on supplier-buyer relationships from six different countries, two commodity supply chains (meat and cereals) and two supply chain stages (farmer-processor and processor-retailer), main trust determinants are identified and discussed. By simultaneously covering two supply chain stages the analysis adopts a perspective beyond the dyad. Findings: The SEM results indicate that trust in supply chain partners can be significantly improved by effective communication and by positive past collaboration. The existence of personal bonds (ties) between partners does not seem to play a direct role in the retailer-processor relationship but is important when dealing with farmers. In both supply chain stages positive past collaboration as well as the existence of personal bonds also indirectly enhance trust by promoting effective communication which in turn positively impacts on trust levels, thus proofing communication to be a powerful mediator variable. Practical implications: This study's findings can be used by practitioners to learn how to improve trust in their supply chain relationships and how to communicate effectively. Originality/value: The results provide large-scale empirical evidence on trust drivers in European agri-food supply chains thus confirming earlier studies on the topic from other industries. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Maraner P.,Free University of Bozen Bolzano
Annals of Physics | Year: 2014

In the contest of the special theory of relativity, it is shown that uniform rotations induce a phase shift in Michelson interferometers. The effect is second order in the ratio of the interferometer's speed to the speed of light, further suppressed by the ratio of the interferometer's arms length to the radius of rotation and depends on the interferometer's position in the co-rotating frame. The magnitude of the phase shift is just beyond the sensitivity of turntable rotated optical resonators used in present tests of Lorentz invariance. It grows significantly large in Earth's rotated kilometer-scale Fabry-Perot enhanced interferometric gravitational-wave detectors where it appears as a constant bias. The effect can provide the means of sensing center and radius of rotations. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

Serina I.,Free University of Bozen Bolzano
Artificial Intelligence | Year: 2010

Case-based planning can take advantage of former problem-solving experiences by storing in a plan library previously generated plans that can be reused to solve similar planning problems in the future. Although comparative worst-case complexity analyses of plan generation and reuse techniques reveal that it is not possible to achieve provable efficiency gain of reuse over generation, we show that the case-based planning approach can be an effective alternative to plan generation when similar reuse candidates can be chosen. In this paper we describe an innovative case-based planning system, called OAKplan, which can efficiently retrieve planning cases from plan libraries containing more than ten thousand cases, choose heuristically a suitable candidate and adapt it to provide a good quality solution plan which is similar to the one retrieved from the case library. Given a planning problem we encode it as a compact graph structure, that we call Planning Encoding Graph, which gives us a detailed description of the topology of the planning problem. By using this graph representation, we examine an approximate retrieval procedure based on kernel functions that effectively match planning instances, achieving extremely good performance in standard benchmark domains. The experimental results point out the effect of the case base size and the importance of accurate matching functions for global system performance. Overall, we show that OAKplan is competitive with state-of-the-art plan generation systems in terms of number of problems solved, CPU time, plan difference values and plan quality when cases similar to the current planning problem are available in the plan library. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Baltrunas L.,Telefonica | Ricci F.,Free University of Bozen Bolzano
User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction | Year: 2014

Collaborative Filtering (CF) computes recommendations by leveraging a historical data set of users' ratings for items. CF assumes that the users' recorded ratings can help in predicting their future ratings. This has been validated extensively, but in some domains the user's ratings can be influenced by contextual conditions, such as the time, or the goal of the item consumption. This type of contextual information is not exploited by standard CF models. This paper introduces and analyzes a novel technique for context-aware CF called Item Splitting. In this approach items experienced in two alternative contextual conditions are "split" into two items. This means that the ratings of a split item, e.g.; a place to visit, are assigned (split) to two new fictitious items representing for instance the place in summer and the same place in winter. This split is performed only if there is statistical evidence that under these two contextual conditions the items ratings are different; for instance, a place may be rated higher in summer than in winter. These two new fictitious items are then used, together with the unaffected items, in the rating prediction algorithm. When the system must predict the rating for that "split" item in a particular contextual condition (e.g.; in summer), it will consider the new fictitious item representing the original one in that particular contextual condition, and will predict its rating. We evaluated this approach on real world, and semi-synthetic data sets using matrix factorization, and nearest neighbor CF algorithms. We show that Item Splitting can be beneficial and its performance depends on the method used to determine which items to split. We also show that the benefit of the method is determined by the relevance of the contextual factors that are used to split. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Ngo N.,Free University of Bozen Bolzano
Proceedings of the VLDB Endowment | Year: 2013

A schema mapping is a high-level specification in which the relationship between two database schemas is described. In data exchange, schema mappings are one-way mappings that describe which data can be brought from source data to target data. Therefore, given a source instance and a mapping, there might be more than one valid target instance. This fact causes many problems in query answering over target data for non-conjunctive queries. To make query answering feasible for all queries, we focus on a methodology for extending the original schema mapping to guarantee the uniqueness of target instance corresponding to a source instance. To this end, we introduce a theoretical framework where the problem is transformed to an abduction problem, namely, definability abduction. We apply the framework to relational data exchange setting and solve the problem by pointing out minimal solutions according to a specific semantic minimality criterion. © 2013 VLDB Endowment.

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