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Microscopy image analysis PDF Print
Ongoing Projects

  I am currently working at IDSIA on the acquisition and analysis of microscopy images in the context of In Vitro Fertilization, in collaboration with biologists and clinicians at IIRM.

We aim at improving success rates of IVF procedures by means of new quantitative indicators of zygote and embryo viability, obtained through image segmentation, 3D reconstruction from image stacks, and data mining.

 Previously, in Spring 2008 I worked as a research intern at the Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (IHCP) at the Joint Research Center of the European Commission, in Ispra.

I was with the Nanotechnology and Molecular Imaging unit, where I experimented with image acquisition using an automated microscope, and developed and tested several algorithms for processing such images and performing quantitative measurements in the context of toxicity assays.

Analysis and re-animation of Motion Blurred Objects PDF Print
Ongoing Projects

 My main research topic during my PhD: studying how motion blurred objects appear, and how to extract information from their blurred image

This is an interesting problem which involves elegant, novel theories, and provides counterintuitive results. There are also cool practical applications.

Read more at the AIRLab project page.

L3 Hyperview PDF Print
Ongoing Projects

L3 hyperview logoWith Pierluigi Taddei, I developed the Java+OpenGL powered viewer technology behind L3 HyperViewL3 HyperView is an userfriendly viewer for gigapixel-class images with smooth pan, zoom, rotation and innovative input interfaces.

Leonardo3 HyperView premiered on 12-20 May 2007 at Biblioteca Reale, Torino during the "Codex on flight" exposition, where very high resolution images were displayed on Full High-Definition HDTV screens.

Learn more at L3 homepage and the exposition page (includes photos, press release and video of national TV coverage by RAI3 TG3 Leonardo).

Reconstruction of Canal Surfaces and the "Canal Dude" PDF Print
Ongoing Projects

 In short, canal surfaces are circular cross section tubes, or "spaghetti".  They are interesting because they can be fully reconstructed from a single perspective image, which has been the topic of my master thesis, defended in October 2005 at Politecnico di Milano. This also inspired several publications of mine.

We exploited the theory for developing a cheap manipulable 3D input device; we are also working on the "Canal Dude", a funny related Augmented Reality game.

Read more at the AIRLab project page.

Wakeup Scattering in Wireless Sensor Networks PDF Print
Ongoing Projects

 During my work on TinyLime, I identified an interesting problem we called "wakeup scattering".  Under the supervision of prof. Amy Murphy and prof. Gian Pietro Picco, I later formalized the problem and proposed an elegant, efficient distributed algorithm which is easily implemented and actually works.  That was my "minor research" for my PhD.

Read more at the Wakeup Scattering webpage (includes figures, software, papers). 

Mutual Autocalibration of Camera and Laser Rangefinder PDF Print
Ongoing Projects

Click to see real size
I'm working with Davide Migliore, under the supervision of prof. Vincenzo Caglioti, on a practical technique for mutually calibrating a camera and 1-DOF laser rangefinder, without using any calibration object.

Read more at the AIRLab project page.

Computer Vision and Image Processing on a Smart Camera PDF Print
Ongoing Projects

SELEA sells smart cameras, i.e. cameras with some (limited) computational power.  We collaborated on several projects.

  • Detection of people raising hands (Robbery Detection), with Pierluigi Taddei, Simone Gasparini and Giacomo Boracchi.
    Read more at the AIRLab project page (includes videos!).
  • Several low-level vision algorithms such as demosaicing, exposure control, white balance, format conversions.
    Read more at the AIRLab project page .
  • Detecting (and possibly reading) car and motorbike license plates, with Pierluigi Taddei, Simone Gasparini and Giacomo Boracchi.
    Read more at AIRLab (under construction).
TinyLime PDF Print
Completed Projects

In 2004-2005, I collaborated in the TinyLime project.  TinyLime merges the LIME paradigm with Wireless Sensor Networks.

A couple of publications on the topic I co-authored:

Learn more at the TinyLime sourceforge page.
Very Small DataBases PDF Print
Completed Projects
From 2003 to 2006 I have been involved in research about Very Small DataBases (VSDB).
    • PoLiDBMS: Design and Prototype Implementation of a DBMS for Portable Devices, a paper I co-authored, published in Proceedings di Dodicesimo Convegno Nazionale sui Sistemi Evoluti per Basi di Dati, S. Margherita di Pula, I, pp. 71-76, 2004. We created a DBMS in Java from scratch, targeted to portable and embedded devices, like smart cards or handhelds using flash memory: I dealt with the design and implementation of low-level interactions between the DBMS core and the storage media, which involved exploring JNI, format conversions, and other related topics. I also partecipated in defining the full DBMS architecture.
    • We also implemented in MIPS assembler several efficient data access policies targeted to flash memory. I was in charge of creating a testing environment, programming standard, and set of basic functions with an useable API for the actual policy routines: it has been a fulfilling work, which involved hacking with SPIM, m4, and a number of other weird tools and languages.
    • I have been co-advisor of Marco Fortunato's Thesis about the application of VSDB methodology to a real-world scenario.
    • Technical reports:
      • Politecnico di Milano - DEI - Technical Report 2003.45: Curino, Giani, Giorgetta, Giusti, Trincavelli: MIPS implementation of some very small
        databases data structures.
      • Politecnico di Milano - DEI - Technical Report 2003.46: Curino, Giorgetta, Giusti, Miele: Portable light DBMS: PoLiDBMS white paper.
Read more at the Very Small DataBases page
Unusual Exercises for Computer Vision Students PDF Print
Misc Stuff
From time to time, I write short exercises for Computer Vision students dealing with projective geometry.  They are currently found somewhere in the Teaching -> Computer Vision category of this site.
Articles for Online News Sites PDF Print
Misc Stuff
I like to write computer related articles as a freelancer: here is a list of works that have been published.
  • A review of Skype, on OSnews
  • An introductory article about Delta Debugging, on NewsForge
    • Update!
      A Japanese (!) translation of that article! Possibly machine-translated?
      Moreover, according to Babelfish, the poll at the end of the page asks: "This article is useful and increase is high?". The results are inspiring, since the first bar (67%) means: "Was useful very", the second (33%): "Was useful", the third (3%) "You cannot call also either one". At the time of writing this, no one voted "Did not serve excessive purpose", or "Was not useful". Cool! :)
  • An article about screencasts on Linux.com.
  • I co-authored an article published on the italian Open.Source magazine about distributed computing and specifically protein folding, folding@home and our team at leet.it. Unfortunately no online copy is available.
  • An article about linux games , on NewsForge
Color Clustering with k-means PDF Print
Misc Stuff
 A short writeup and applet about color clustering using the k-means algorithm. The applet requires Java 1.5. You can also download a minimalistic java library which implements the k-means algorithm.
A related page by Leonardo Maffi, who built on what I done and proposes interesting considerations and comparisons with other algorithms. He also provides a pure Python implementation of k-means.
Misc presentations and writeups PDF Print
Misc Stuff

I have prepared several presentations and writeueps about different topics, mostly for master and PhD courses. 

Delta Debugging

Delta Debugging is a cool, fascinating debugging method by prof. Andreas Zeller.  I wrote a paper [italian] about it with Carlo Curino, as homework for a PhD course in Advanced Software Engineering, in Spring 2005; powerpoint slides of presentation.  I also shortly described it for a non technical audience in an article at NewsForge.

Autonomous Driving 

Slides [it] (ppt, pdf) for a short and rather informal presentation about autonomous driving, for a University course in Robotics. Movies are missing from the download, and can be found in the sites referenced in the slides.

Agent Communication Languages

An informal presentation (ppt) about the article "Agent Communication Languages: Rethinking the Principles" by M.P. Singh, for a PhD course in Multiagent Systems. The presentation includes cute clipart and references to Alice in Wonderland.

Automata for bilevel image compression

A rather informal presentation (ppt) about an interesting image compression approach by K. Culik II.  This was prepared for a PhD course in formal languages.

Adaptive Dynamics: The Probability of Escaping Accidental Extinction

A writeup (pdf) summarizing and explaining Appendix C of the book "Analysis of Evolutionary Processes: The Adaptive Dynamics Approach and its Applications", by F. Dercole e S. Rinaldi, written for for a PhD course.

On Mathematical Modeling of the Interaction Between Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism

A writeup (italian pdf) with a summary and critique of the article "Mathematical Modeling of the Interaction Between Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism and its Policy Implications" (link), by Alvin M. Saperstein, written for a PhD course.

Supporting Marco at "Who Wants to be a Millionaire". PDF Print
Misc Stuff

 I created a Java applet for training my friend Marco who, in Spring 2005, was selected for partecipation at the italian instance of the popular TV format "who wants to be a millionaire", named "Chi vuol essere milionario": the applet implements the "Fastest Finger First" preliminary game; it has proven effective (and Marco's fingers fast enough) since he passed the qualification game at the second attempt (among 6 total attempts, and 9 other players). Eventually Marco won 35000€.
Drop me a line if you want a copy of the applet (even for your own training, if you are a lucky "who wants to be a millionaire" candidate).

I also created a Java application for automatically answering quiz questions based on Google searches.  You just type the question and the four answers, and the tool responds with answer probabilities after few seconds.


Litoradio PDF Print
Misc Stuff
In the first months of 2005 I hacked up litoradio: a bunch of shell scripts which implement an useful and rather complex system, which automatically connects to radio streams at preprogrammed times, transcodes the shows to mp3 from almost any format, and finally uploads an aptly-named and tagged file via ftp to a web server; a simple php interface then allows browsing and downloading recorded shows, at any time.
Thanks to the power of the building blocks (100% free software, except maybe some codecs), it has been a fun and fast hack. Unfortunately, the code of the core (few lines of bash) has been lost during a server crash, after hundreds of hours of shows were more-or-less succesfully archived. Not a great miss, since there were a number of shortcomings, bugs, and error handling was simply non-existent. Moreover, at least one supported and non-hackish alternative should have appeared in the meantime.
The archive is still live, but due to copyright issues access is restricted to me and friends.
The TI89 as an Input Device PDF Print
Misc Stuff
 Back in 2002, Matteo Giani and I implemented a system to connect a TI-89 graphing calculator with a Linux PC running X11: you could use the TI-89 keyboard as an X input device (through the XTest extension), and display system stats and a number of other info (provided by lcdproc) on the calc's LCD screen. Low-level connectivity was provided by the excellent TILP library. The PC stuff was implemented by me in C, while the calc was 0wn3d by Matteo's 1337 assembler skillz. :-)