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ICT Education @ DISI
Postgraduate Research Grants
DISI - Department of Information Engineering and Computer Science

Topics 2003


Proposed activities in Bioinformatics Research Program:

No positions available

Computer Networks and Distributed Algorithms

Proposed activities in Computer Networks and Distributed Algorithms Research Program:

1. Contact person: Roberto Battiti
Context-aware services in the framework of the Wi-Fi high bandwidth connection to Internet.
The research will consider methods based on machine learning to adapt services to the context and the user's preferences.
Development of software components (project WILMA http://www.wilmaproject.org).

2. Contact person: Roberto Battiti, Pilani **
Support of location-aware services trough info-stations.
Appropriate middleware architectures are designed to support the seamless and efficient distribution of information to the users. The research will develop applications in the areas of computer supported cooperative work. Development of software components and experimental analysis (project WILMA http://www.wilmaproject.org).

3. Contact person: Maria Cristina Pinotti, Pilani **
4. Contact persons: Maria Cristina Pinotti, Pilani **
The problem of coloring regular graphs has been the main area of my research in the last couples of years. Equating colors with channels, and nodes of the regular graphs with stations of the network supporting wireless local loop communications in a high density populated region, such a coloring problem well models he channel assignment problem on wireless local loop networks. Optimal assignments have been devised for many networks, including hexagonal networks, rings, bidimensional grids, arbitrary trees, and interval graphs. Some work is needed to cope with a more realistic version of the problem where the graph is arbitrary and the number of channels assigned to each node varies with the network traffic. (2 positions)


Multimedia Communications and Networking

Proposed activities in Multimedia Communications and Networking Research Program:

1. Contact person: Fabrizio Granelli
Study and development of protocols for testing and performance measurements over IP networks.

2. Contact person: Francesco De Natale


Remote Sensing for the Environment

Proposed activities in Remote Sensing for the Environment Research Program:

No positions available


Software Engineering and Formal Methods

Proposed activities in Software Engineering and Formal Methods Research Program:

1. Contact person: Luisa Mich
An important research area for the application of linguistic instruments to support requirements analysis and, in particular, conceptual modelling is pattern extraction based on not very sophisticated tools. The cooperation with the University of Toronto will allow to experiment a tool for parsing legacy systems. The objective is to apply template filling techniques in order to support the modelling of business goals following the i* methods.

2. Contact person: Paolo Giorgini
Tropos project.
Tropos is a new agent oriented software development methodology which spans the software development process from early requirements to implementation for agent oriented software. The methodology adopts Eric Yu's i* modeling framework, which offers the notions of actor, goal and (actor) dependency, and uses these as a foundation to model early and late requirements, architectural and detailed design.

3. Contact person: Paolo Giorgini, Fabio Massacci
Modelling Security Features in Tropos.
Tropos is a new agent oriented software development methodology which spans the software development process from early requirements to implementation for agent oriented software (see the Tropos Project). The student will compare existing languages for security requirements with the possibility offered by Tropos and produce a critical review.

4. Contact person: Fausto Giunchiglia
Formal Semantics for data coordination.
The goal is to develop a semantics, based on the local relational model , for the integration of data coming form multiple independet information sources.

5. Contact person: Fausto Giunchiglia, (Pilani **)
Formal Semantics for data coordination.
The goal is to develop a semantics, based on the local relational model , for the integration of data coming form multiple independet information sources.

6. Contact person: Roberto Sebastiani
Hybrid Verification: Integrating Boolean and Numeric Constraint Solving

7. Contact person: Fabio Massacci, Corrado Priami
UML Security.
Analysis of tools and languages for the formal embedding of security aspects in UML the object-oriented Unified Modeling Language, the industry-standard in modelling. UML allows to formulate security requirements in a system specification in a simple and intuitiv way. The student will provide a critical review of extensions of CASE-tools (such as Auto-Focus) with security information to allow the seamless consideration of security aspects in the development process.
BACKGROUND: Computer Science/Engineering Curriculum.

8. Contact person: Fabio Massacci
Modelling 3-D Secure/Electronic Purse Specifications.
The 3-D Secure and the Common Electronic Purse Specifications by VISA, MasterCard and Europay are standards for the implementation of secure electronic payments and an electronic purse program, while maintaining full accountability and auditability. The students will provide a critical review of the specification and an abstract, protocol level view of the standards.
BACKGROUND: Computer Science/Engineering Curriculum.

9. Contact person: Fabio Massacci
Verification of Fair-Exchange security protocols.
Fair-exchange protocols have been introduced for the exchange of goods over the internet. Various formal models have been introduced for their verifcation and the student should work in the modelling the protocol with the Theorem-prover Isabelle and verify some simple properties.
BACKGROUND: Computer Science or Mathematical Logic Curriculum.

10. Contact person: Marco Aiello
Software Documentation Readings.
Within the issue of logical structure detection, the project concerns the problem of reading order detection. In particular the succesfulcandidate will extend an existing prototype for reading orderdetection on real document images (M. Aiello and Monz, C. and Todoran,L. and Worring, M. "Document Understanding for a Broad Class of Documents" International Journal of Document Analysis and Recognition,2002, Springer, to appear) with the ability of handling documents withmultiple reading orders, that is, documents that have a number ofindependent sets of text.

11. Contact person: Marco Pistore
Hierarchical and compositional techniques for model checking.
The verification of correctness of industrial software systems is very seriously limited by the lack of techniques that are able to deal with the size of these systems. On the other hand, very often these systems are strongly structured (for instance, they can be obtained as combination of hierarchically connected modules) and this structure could be exploited in order to decompose the verification activity in smaller problems of simpler complexity. The goal of the project is to investigate techniques for the hierarchical and compositional verification of software systems, and to integrate these techniques inside the NuSMV model checker http://nusmv.irst.itc.it.

12. Contact person: Marco Pistore
Automated task planning in hostile environments.
Controlling intellingent agents in complex real-world environments poses strong requirements on the flexibility and authonomy that these agents should exhibit in order to fulfill their tasks. Planning techniques allow for an automated generation of the control of an agent given a description of the tasks of the agent. Therefore, they are potentially a very powerful approach for adding flexibility and autonomy to agents. The goal of the project is to extend existing planning techniques and algorithms to the automated generation of robust plans that guarrantee to achieve the actor tasks also in hostile, adversarial, or dangerous environments.


Evaluation and Testing in Industrial Processes

Proposed activities in Evaluation and Testing in Industrial Processes Research Program:

No positions available

Knowledge Management and Distributed Information Systems

Proposed activities in Knowledge Management and Distributed Information Systems Research Program:

1. Contact person: Marco Aiello
Handling Web-Service's requests.
The project consists of exploring existing and new web-service technologies (such as SOAP for communication, BPEL4WS for business process modeling, UDDI for web-service discovery, WSDL for web-service description) in order to achieve a deep understanding of these technologies and to build a small prototype based on the above standards for web-services. The target prototype will be an autonomous agent that interprets requests from a user and retrieves the appropriate resources in the form of web-services to respond to the request. If time allows the prototype built may be extended to interface with an existing AI planner (such as the MBP developed at IRST-ITC, Trento) or with a constraint satisfier solver (such as Eclipse, ic-park, London).

2. Contact person: Paolo Giorgini
Over the past decade, goal models have been used in Computer Science in order to represent software requirements, business objectives and design qualities. Such models extend traditional AI planning techniques for representing goals by allowing for partially denied and possibly inconsistent goals. In this project we study a formal framework for reasoning with such goal models. In particular, the we propose a qualitative and a numerical axiomatization for goal modeling primitives and introduces label propagation algorithms.

3. Contact person: Paolo Bouquet
Goal of the stage is to study the high level requirements of a semantic browser, namely a tool that can be used to navigate a space of semantic links instead of simple physical links across documents. To do this, the work done in a project called EDAMOK (Enabling Distributed and Autnomous Management of Knowledge) will be exploited, in particular the definition of a context space, namely a web of local knowledge sources among which semantic mappings are defined or discovered at runtime through a mechanism of semantic matching.

4. Contact person: Gabriel Kuper
Local Relational Model (LRM): Model for Peer-2-Peer database systems. The LRM is a proposed model for information integration. In contrast to previous proposals of this sort, it does not assume a central integrator or wrapper, but rather assumes that the user will query specific databases directly, and these databases in turn can access other databases in turn. The associations between the databases can be dynamic, i.e., not fixed in advance. We propose two research projects on the LRM model: This activity has two main objectives. The first is a formal comparison between the two state-of-the-art paradigms for information integration LAV and GAV (local-as-view and global-as-view) with the LRM paradigm, and investigates whether the LRM captures the full power of these paradigms. The second activity is to study the formal properties and expressive power of the LRM paradigm itself.

5. Contact person: Fausto Giunchiglia
A Foundation for data coordination between peer information sources. The general framework of the project is described in the Web site: http://www.dit.unitn.it/~p2p

6. Contact person: Fausto Giunchiglia, (Pilani **)
A Foundation for data coordination between peer information sources. The general framework of the project is described in the Web site: http://www.dit.unitn.it/~p2p


Electronic Sensors and Microsystems

Proposed activities in Electronic Sensors and Microsystems Research Program:

1. Contact person: prof. Giovanni Soncini
This project is part of a R&D activity aimed at the realization, in a standard CMOS technology combined with an appropriate micromachining post-process, of an array of thermoelectric sensors (thermopiles) integrated with electronics circuitry for security applications. In thermoelectric sensors, the radiation energy is absorbed by a proper layer and converted into thermal energy, that, in turn, is converted into an electrical signal by exploiting the Seebeck effect. Although the materials available in a CMOS process are limited and their thermoelectric properties may not be optimal, the possibility to integrate the thermoelectric sensor and the read-out circuitry (analogue signal conditioning and digital electronics) on the same chip can overcome these drawbacks, achieving performance comparable to those of devices based on dedicated materials with all the advantages of a fully integrated system, among them reduced size, high reliability and low cost.Addressing, read-out and interface circuits are needed to read and process the electrical signal provided by the thermopile device. The fundamental blocks to be considered are the analogue read-out channel signal conditioning circuit. The area occupation and power consumption of the electronic read-out circuitry have to be optimised in view of their integration at the pixel level, taking care of design-for-testability issues. (Pilani **)

2. Contact person: prof. Giovanni Soncini
This project is part of a R&D activity aimed at the integration of JFET-MOS mixed analogue-digital circuits on the same high-resistivity silicon substrate of radiation detectors. Monolithic integration of detectors and at least part of the read-out electronics, owing to the considerable simplification of the mechanical assembly and to the minimization of connection capacitances, can improve the performance and stability of detection systems for ionising particles and photons. A fully integrated detection system is particularly appealing for those applications where compactness, weight, and amount of material are crucial. In order to optimise the fabrication technology and the device design, specially designed test structures shall be characterised. They consist of silicon radiation detectors (PIN diodes) monolithically integrated with the front-end transistor alone (JFET), made available in both the source-follower and charge-amplifier configurations. In addition, a complete read-out channel, making use of n-channel JFETs and MOSFETs as active devices, shall be tested. These test structures are suitable as X-ray detectors and, if coupled to scintillators, as g-ray detectors. Besides being used alone, they can also be arranged in 1-D or 2-D arrays for imaging purposes. Devices will be first electrically tested by means of static, dynamic and noise measurements; then, electro-optical tests shall be performed by using an infrared laser beam; finally, X-ray spectroscopic tests will be carried out (Pilani **)


Pilani **
six months stage research program offered as Practice School II to BITS Pilani final year ME students.
For further information please refer to:
prof. V.S. Rao,
Deputy Director,
Practice School Division, BITS, Pilani, Raj., India 333031.