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Cesare Furlanello

Head of Unit
  • Phone: +39 0461 314580
  • FBK Povo
Short bio

Cesare Furlanello received his degree in Mathematics at the University of Padua, Italy, in 1986. He is at Fondazione Bruno Kessler (Centre for Scientific and Technological Research of Trento) since 1987, now a Senior Researcher. He is currently leader of the MPBA Project (previously the ITC-IRST Neural Networks for Complex Data Analysis Project, since 1995).

In general terms, he is a data scientist, with main research interests in the interdisciplinary applications of machine learning methods to biomedical and environmental data. He is active in the field of bioinformatics, developing methods and software solutions to find patterns in very high throughput molecular data (such as Next Generation Sequencing and microarrays). He also have years of experience with machine learning and data analysis for geoinformatics, aiming at creating a bridge (geo-bioinformatics) between molecular profiles and spatial data structures. He has designed and managed many collaborative studies with life science researchers, in which math and software infrastructures are integrated to discover patterns in high-throughput datasets. He was first Project manager at IRST for the National Bioelectronics Project (1991-94), and he is currently PI and project manager of research projects in which Predictive Models are applied to Biomedical and Environmental data, for a total of 58 funded projects since 1988. These studies combine statistical machine learning methods with new sw infrastructures for data collection, management and distribution of the resulting models: Predictive Health Platforms and Geoinformatics platforms are thus the final outcome. The most recent research is directed to applications in functional genomics, including the development of computational pipelines and a focus to the problems of scientific reproducibility.

Basic and applied studies have been developed at the MPBA group with colleagues in other institutions on molecular oncology, vector-borne disease mapping, wildlife epidemiology, traffic safety, landscape risk analysis. CF has actively contributed to computational aspects, supporting the development of open source geoinformatics (GIS GRASS, WebGIS) and high performance machine learning (mlpy). Since 2002, he has contributed to the development of predictive classification models and gene selection procedures for molecular diagnostics, in collaboration with national and international centres of excellence in molecular oncology. He is a bioinformatics PI collaborator of international consortia such as the SEQC/MAQC FDA initiative and the FANTOM5 project led by the RIKEN OMICS centre. He has been a PI for AIRC with the IFOM-FIRC institute. He is also a collaborator PI in several projects of the Mach Foundation (FEM) for computational biology (metagenomics) and environmental mapping (climate change and plant genomics)

Several of the systems realized in experimental studies are now data platforms in use as infrastructures by public agencies: IET, MITRIS (Trentino and Friuli-VG), UXB-TN (Trentino), FaunaTN and FaunaBL (Trentino and Belluno) are the largest. The spinoff company MPA Solutions is mantaining these systems and developing WebGIS technologies with predictive modeling functions.

CF was Scientific secretary of the GNCB-CNR school on Neural Networks for Signal Processing (Trento 1989) and organizer of other workshops on Applications of Machine Learning and Neural Networks. In September 2008, he was Local Conference Chair of the MGED11 International Workshop of the MGED Society (in its Advisory Board since 2007) and he is now in the Board of Directors of the FGED society. Lecturer on Neural Network and Statistics at Master School of Advanced Information Science of Salerno University. Chairman of Session Theory 1 at IEEE NNSP-95 Cambridge MA, 1995. Member of the Scientific Board of the Multiple Classifier Systems series of conferences. Invited participant in the Machine Learning and Neural Networks Program of the Newton Institute of Mathematical Science, Cambridge UK, 1998. Member of the Italian Neural Network Society (serving in its Scientific Board 1991-2005), of the International Association for Pattern Recognition.

Invited lectures (a selection): NATO-ASI school Learning with Ensemble models (Vietri 2002), the ECEM/EAML Conference (Bled 2004), at the Int. BCB-Workshop on Machine Learning in Bioinformatics (Oct. 2005, Berlin), Int. School "The analysis of patterns" (Nov. 2005, Erice), "Predictive modeling on spatio-temporal patterns" (April 2007, Univ. Bristol), and "Signature Stability Analysis" (Nov 2007, Silver Springs, FDA).

He has been supervisor of 30 graduate or postgraduate theses for the universities of Trento (Mathematics and Engineering), Milano, Bologna, and Torino, supervisor of Leonardo graduate placements, tutor of 8 ASI-CONAE fellows in 2003-2012. Currently a supervisor of internships for Master thesis in Mathematics, Information and Telecommunication Engineering for the University of Trento, as well as a tutor for post-doc fellowships. Courses held: 1998-2003: Lecturer on COMPUTATIONAL STATISTICS AND PREDICTIVE MODELS, Math MsC, Trento University, and 2004-06: Lecturer on "Statistical Machine Learning", a course for the International Graduate School in ICT, Trento University. He is currently a member of the PhD School in Biomolecular sciences of UniTN.

He is a founder of the WEBVALLEY project, the FBK summer course for dissemination of interdisciplinary scientific research. Since 2001, CF is responsible for the WebValley Scientific program, and a resident tutor for all the 12 editions of this event. Developing the culture of data with open source platforms (web scripting, geodatabases, webGIS, tools for data visualization, statistical analysis decision making) based on a challenging project is the theme of 3 fast-paced weeks, in which about 20 high schools students team up with senior and junior researchers. In 2012, for this activity CF has been listed as "one of the 50 persons that are changing the world" by Wired, Italian edition (at #42, as in the H Guide).

Publications
  1. Stefano Merler; Cesare Furlanello,
    Selection of Tree-Based Classifiers with the Bootstrap 632+ Rule,
    in «BIOMETRICAL JOURNAL»,
    1997
    , pp. 369 -
    382
  2. C. Chemini; Annamaria Rizzoli; Stefano Merler; Cesare Furlanello; C. Genchi,
    Ixodes Ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae) Infestation on Roe Deer (Capreolus Capreolus) in Trentino, Italian Alps,
    in «PARASSITOLOGIA»,
    vol. 39,
    1997
    , pp. 59 -
    63
  3. Cesare Furlanello; Stefano Merler; C. Chemini,
    Tree-Based Classifiers and GIS for Biological Risk Forecasting,
    Advances in Intelligent Systems (Proceedings of the International Symposium on Intelligent Systems [ISIS-'97],
    1997
    , pp. 316-
    323
  4. Cesare Furlanello; Stefano Merler; A. Bertoldi,
    Young Competitive Athletes Resuscitated from Cardiac Arrest on Field: Exploratory Data Analysis and Computer Simulations,
    The clinical profile of a selected group of 26 young competitive athletes who survived a documented cardiac arrest (CA) was presented by the Arrhythmologic Centre of Trento in (Bertoldi et al, 1995). Computer simulations on the Trento database were performed to estimate a classification tree (CART) model. The goal of this preliminary study is the development of a method to identify high risk patients (those who may undergo a sudden cardiac death (SCD) in the follow-up period). Model construction was based upon an automatic screening of the most relevant predictor variables in terms of misclassification error and tree complexity. The data used up to 12 response variables to estimate the probability of adverse outcome (non-fatal recurrency or SCCD) in the follow-up period.
    To evaluate the accuracy of the model for novel data, error rate was estimated by computer simulations based on a novel bootstrap procedure. The model indicated the type of silent underlying cardiopathy (ARVD, DCM, IHD, MVP) and the therapy configuration as predictive of recurrency risk after a first CA
    ,
    1997
  5. Stefano Merler; Cesare Furlanello; C. Chemini; G. Nicolini,
    Classification Tree Methods for Analysis of Mesoscale Distribution of Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae) in Trentino, Italian Alps,
    in «JOURNAL OF MEDICAL ENTOMOLOGY»,
    1996
    , pp. 887 -
    893
  6. Cesare Furlanello; Diego Giuliani,
    Reti neurali e trasformazioni spettrali per l`adattamento al parlatore,
    in «RIVISTA ITALIANA DI ACUSTICA»,
    n. 4,
    1996
    , pp. 125 -
    129
  7. Edmondo Trentin; Diego Giuliani; Cesare Furlanello,
    Spectral Mapping: A Comparison of Connectionist Approaches,
    Proceedings of the VIII Workshop on Neural Nets [WIRN 96],
    1996
  8. Annamaria Rizzoli; C. Chemini; C. Genchi; Stefano Merler; Cesare Furlanello,
    Pattern of Infestation of Ixodes Ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae) on Roe Deer in the Italian Alps,
    Wildlife Disease Association Conference,
    1996
  9. C. Chemini; Annamaria Rizzoli; Stefano Merler; Cesare Furlanello,
    Analysis of the Distribution and Abundance of Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae) on Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus) in the Italian Alps,
    Proceedings of VII European Multicolloquium of Parasitology [EMOP VII],
    1996
  10. P. Bonavita; C. Chemini; P. Ambrosi; F. Minerbi; C. Salvadori; Cesare Furlanello,
    Biodiversity and Stress Level in Four Forests of the Italian Alps,
    Proceedings of XVII International Meeting for Specialists in Air Pollution Effects on Forest Ecosystem: Stress Factors and Air Pollution,
    1996

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