Ambiti di Ricerca

Mauro Tortonesi’s scientific work could be broadly classified along the following 4 main research activities.

A first activity involves the study of solutions for the modeling and optimization of support organizations for the resolution of incidents in the IT industry, and the construction of models and software tools to support business-driven strategic decision making relating to the incident management process in the IT industry. This is an extremely difficult task, which requires to consider a large set of possible operations on IT support organizations (support group re-staffing, merging, splitting, etc.), and the implementation of different policies for the allocation and prioritization of incidents, and suggests the adoption of what-if scenario analysis techniques and tools, which enable the behavioral analysis of highly complex real-world systems in alternative working conditions. This activity, carried out in collaboration with the HP Labs research laboratories in Palo Alto, CA (USA), the research division of Hewlett Packard, resulted in numerous scientific publications and in the realization of the state-of-the-art SYMIAN decision support tool, which was thoroughly validated through comparisons with the data from real-life enterprise class IT support organizations, and was recently released as Open Source.

A second research activity concerns Internet-of-Things (IoT) management in industrial environments. More specifically, Dr. Tortonesi’s work focused on the study and implementation of Web-based and highly scalable e-Maintenance solutions for the remote monitoring, diagnostics, configuration, reporting, and updating of automated machines, and on the study and implementation of innovative control platforms for automated machines based on single board computer with ARM processors and component-off- the-shelf Open Source software, such as the Linux operating system, the Qt embedded GUI libraries, and the Ruby on Rails framework for Web 2.0 applications. This activity is carried out in collaboration with the R&D divisions of many world leading (mechanical) industries, such as Carpigiani Group of Anzola dell’Emilia (BO), IMA SpA of Ozzano Emilia (BO), VM Motori (FIAT-Chrysler Group) of Cento (FE), Elenos of Poggio Renatico (FE), SACMI of Imola (BO). Within this research activity, Dr. Tortonesi contributed to design and realize several prototypes of software solutions for the remote monitoring and control of machines through Web-based technologies, for the the local (HMI) control of machines through an embedded Qt interface, and for the remote control of automated machines via iPad devices. All the prototypes are currently going through the commercialization phase, and provided or are expected to provide very significant economic benefits for the companies. The activity also led to several scientific publications and to the filing of two patent applications.

Another research activity concerns the study of business-driven methodologies for the placement optimization of software components of complex IT services in federated Cloud environments. This activity aims at developing a general model to represent the behaviour of complex IT services with multiple workflows, a simulation based tool to reenact the behavior of complex IT services in federated Cloud environments, and optimization solutions leveraging computational intelligence methods such as genetic algorithms and particle swarm optimization. This activity is carried out in collaboration with the Department of Computer Science - Science and Engineering (DISI) of the University of Bologna, St. John's University in New York, NY, (USA), and the IBM TJ Watson research institute, New York, NY, (USA). The activity, started only very recently, resulted in several publications and in the realization of the SISFC simulator to reenact the behavior of IT service components in federated Cloud environments and of the ruby-mhl library of metaheuristics, which were released as Open Source.

A fourth research activity involves the study and development of methodologies and tools to support communications in extremely dynamic wireless environments such as mobile ad-hoc, delay-tolerant, opportunistic, and tactical edge networks. The main objective of this activity is the implementation of a comprehensive middleware solution enabling application-level service discovery, network condition monitoring, service session mobility, QoS management, opportunistic resource exploitation, adaptation of component-off-the-shelf applications, and finally smart and adaptive information dissemination. This activity is carried out in collaboration with the Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition in Pensacola, FL (USA), with the United States Army Research Lab (ARL), with the United States Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), with the United States Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), and the United States Office of Naval Research (ONR), and led to interesting results published in many international scientific journals and conferences.

Finally, other minor activities concern the realization of a platform for the QoS-enabled provisioning of multimedia services over Bluetooth, the development of mechanisms to prevent the tracking of users and mobile devices with Wireless Internet, and the study of the problem of porting applications and services legacy IPv4-only to IPv6.