State-of-the-Art Future Internet Technology in Italy 2022–2023

A special issue of Future Internet (ISSN 1999-5903).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2023) | Viewed by 19555

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
1. Department of Engineering for Innovation, University of Salento, 73100 Lecce, Italy
2. Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Climate Change, Foundation, Lecce, Italy
Interests: parallel; distributed; grid/cloud/P2P computing; data mining; machine learning; deep learning; security and cryptography
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of the art in Future Internet Technology in Italy. We invite research articles that will consolidate our understanding in this area. The Special Issue will publish full research papers and reviews. Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following research areas:

  • Advanced communications network infrastructures;
  • Internet of Things;
  • Centralized and distributed data centers;
  • Industrial Internet;
  • Embedded computing;
  • Software-defined network functions and network virtualization;
  • Cloud-let and fog-computing;
  • Cyber-physical systems;
  • Smart energy systems;
  • Smart health-care systems;
  • Smart manufacturing lines;
  • Smart city;
  • Human–computer interaction and usability;
  • Smart learning systems;
  • Artificial and augmented intelligence;
  • Cyber-security compliance;

Prof. Dr. Massimo Cafaro
Prof. Dr. Italo Epicoco
Dr. Marco Pulimeno
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Future Internet is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

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Published Papers (11 papers)

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Editorial

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4 pages, 141 KiB  
Editorial
State-of-the-Art Future Internet Technology in Italy 2022–2023
by Massimo Cafaro, Italo Epicoco and Marco Pulimeno
Future Internet 2024, 16(2), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi16020053 - 06 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1012
Abstract
This Special Issue aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of the art in Future Internet Technology in Italy [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Future Internet Technology in Italy 2022–2023)

Research

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19 pages, 1707 KiB  
Article
GRAPH4: A Security Monitoring Architecture Based on Data Plane Anomaly Detection Metrics Calculated over Attack Graphs
by Giacomo Gori, Lorenzo Rinieri, Amir Al Sadi, Andrea Melis, Franco Callegati and Marco Prandini
Future Internet 2023, 15(11), 368; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi15110368 - 15 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1482
Abstract
The correct and efficient measurement of security properties is key to the deployment of effective cyberspace protection strategies. In this work, we propose GRAPH4, which is a system that combines different security metrics to design an attack detection approach that leverages the advantages [...] Read more.
The correct and efficient measurement of security properties is key to the deployment of effective cyberspace protection strategies. In this work, we propose GRAPH4, which is a system that combines different security metrics to design an attack detection approach that leverages the advantages of modern network architectures. GRAPH4 makes use of attack graphs that are generated by the control plane to extract a view of the network components requiring monitoring, which is based on the specific attack that must be detected and on the knowledge of the complete network layout. It enables an efficient distribution of security metrics tasks between the control plane and the data plane. The attack graph is translated into network rules that are subsequently installed in programmable nodes in order to enable alerting and detecting network anomalies at a line rate. By leveraging data plane programmability and security metric scores, GRAPH4 enables timely responses to unforeseen conditions while optimizing resource allocation and enhancing proactive defense. This paper details the architecture of GRAPH4, and it provides an evaluation of the performance gains it can achieve. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Future Internet Technology in Italy 2022–2023)
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22 pages, 515 KiB  
Article
Real-World Implementation and Integration of an Automatic Scoring System for Workplace Safety Courses in Italian
by Nicola Arici, Alfonso Emilio Gerevini, Matteo Olivato, Luca Putelli, Luca Sigalini and Ivan Serina
Future Internet 2023, 15(8), 268; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi15080268 - 12 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1021
Abstract
Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing techniques can have a very significant impact on the e-learning sector, with the introduction of chatbots, automatic correctors, or scoring systems. However, integrating such technologies into the business environment in an effective way is not a trivial [...] Read more.
Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing techniques can have a very significant impact on the e-learning sector, with the introduction of chatbots, automatic correctors, or scoring systems. However, integrating such technologies into the business environment in an effective way is not a trivial operation, and it not only requires realising a model with good predictive performance, but also it requires the following: (i) a proper study of the task, (ii) a data collection process, (iii) a real-world evaluation of its utility. Moreover, it is also very important to build an entire IT infrastructure that connects the AI system with the company database, with the human employees, the users, etc. In this work, we present a real-world system, based on the state-of-the-art BERT model, which implements an automatic scoring system for open-ended questions written in Italian. More specifically, these questions pertain to the workplace safety courses which every worker must attend by law, often via e-learning platforms such as the one offered by Mega Italia Media. This article describes how our system has been designed, evaluated, and finally deployed for commercial use with complete integration with the other services provided by the company. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Future Internet Technology in Italy 2022–2023)
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28 pages, 7710 KiB  
Article
Efficient Integration of Heterogeneous Mobility-Pollution Big Data for Joint Analytics at Scale with QoS Guarantees
by Isam Mashhour Al Jawarneh, Luca Foschini and Paolo Bellavista
Future Internet 2023, 15(8), 263; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi15080263 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1191
Abstract
Numerous real-life smart city application scenarios require joint analytics on unified views of georeferenced mobility data with environment contextual data including pollution and meteorological data. particularly, future urban planning requires restricting vehicle access to specific areas of a city to reduce the adverse [...] Read more.
Numerous real-life smart city application scenarios require joint analytics on unified views of georeferenced mobility data with environment contextual data including pollution and meteorological data. particularly, future urban planning requires restricting vehicle access to specific areas of a city to reduce the adverse effect of their engine combustion emissions on the health of dwellers and cyclers. Current editions of big spatial data management systems do not come with over-the-counter support for similar scenarios. To close this gap, in this paper, we show the design and prototyping of a novel system we term as EMDI for the enrichment of human and vehicle mobility data with pollution information, thus enabling integrated analytics on a unified view. Our system supports a variety of queries including single geo-statistics, such as ‘mean’, and Top-N queries, in addition to geo-visualization on the combined view. We have tested our system with real big georeferenced mobility and environmental data coming from the city of Bologna in Italy. Our testing results show that our system can be efficiently utilized for advanced combined pollution-mobility analytics at a scale with QoS guarantees. Specifically, a reduction in latency that equals roughly 65%, on average, is obtained by using EMDI as opposed to the plain baseline, we also obtain statistically significant accuracy results for Top-N queries ranging roughly from 0.84 to 1 for both Spearman and Pearson correlation coefficients depending on the geo-encoding configurations, in addition to significant single geo-statistics accuracy values expressed using Mean Absolute Percentage Error on the range from 0.00392 to 0.000195. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Future Internet Technology in Italy 2022–2023)
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20 pages, 486 KiB  
Article
Investigation on Self-Admitted Technical Debt in Open-Source Blockchain Projects
by Andrea Pinna, Maria Ilaria Lunesu, Stefano Orrù and Roberto Tonelli
Future Internet 2023, 15(7), 232; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi15070232 - 30 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1174
Abstract
Technical debt refers to decisions made during the design and development of software that postpone the resolution of technical problems or the enhancement of the software’s features to a later date. If not properly managed, technical debt can put long-term software quality and [...] Read more.
Technical debt refers to decisions made during the design and development of software that postpone the resolution of technical problems or the enhancement of the software’s features to a later date. If not properly managed, technical debt can put long-term software quality and maintainability at risk. Self-admitted technical debt is defined as the addition of specific comments to source code as a result of conscious and deliberate decisions to accumulate technical debt. In this paper, we will look at the presence of self-admitted technical debt in open-source blockchain projects, which are characterized by the use of a relatively novel technology and the need to generate trust. The self-admitted technical debt was analyzed using NLP techniques for the classification of comments extracted from the source code of ten projects chosen based on capitalization and popularity. The analysis of self-admitted technical debt in blockchain projects was compared with the results of previous non-blockchain open-source project analyses. The findings show that self-admitted design technical debt outnumbers requirement technical debt in blockchain projects. The analysis discovered that some projects had a low percentage of self-admitted technical debt in the comments but a high percentage of source code files with debt. In addition, self-admitted technical debt is on average more prevalent in blockchain projects and more equally distributed than in reference Java projects.If not managed, the relatively high presence of detected technical debt in blockchain projects could represent a threat to the needed trust between the blockchain system and the users. Blockchain projects development teams could benefit from self-admitted technical debt detection for targeted technical debt management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Future Internet Technology in Italy 2022–2023)
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16 pages, 1922 KiB  
Article
Heart DT: Monitoring and Preventing Cardiac Pathologies Using AI and IoT Sensors
by Roberta Avanzato, Francesco Beritelli, Alfio Lombardo and Carmelo Ricci
Future Internet 2023, 15(7), 223; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi15070223 - 22 Jun 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1351
Abstract
Today’s healthcare facilities require new digital tools to cope with the rapidly increasing demand for technology that can support healthcare operators. The advancement of technology is leading to the pervasive use of IoT devices in daily life, capable of acquiring biomedical and biometric [...] Read more.
Today’s healthcare facilities require new digital tools to cope with the rapidly increasing demand for technology that can support healthcare operators. The advancement of technology is leading to the pervasive use of IoT devices in daily life, capable of acquiring biomedical and biometric parameters, and providing an opportunity to activate new tools for the medical community. Digital twins (DTs) are a form of technology that are gaining more prominence in these scenarios. Many scientific research papers in the literature are combining artificial intelligence (AI) with DTs. In this work, we propose a case study including a proof of concept based on microservices, the heart DT, for the evaluation of electrocardiogram (ECG) signals by means of an artificial intelligence component. In addition, a higher-level platform is presented and described for the complete management and monitoring of cardiac pathologies. The overall goal is to provide a system that can facilitate the patient–doctor relationship, improve medical treatment times, and reduce costs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Future Internet Technology in Italy 2022–2023)
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16 pages, 693 KiB  
Article
When Operation Technology Meets Information Technology: Challenges and Opportunities
by Davide Berardi, Franco Callegati, Andrea Giovine, Andrea Melis, Marco Prandini and Lorenzo Rinieri
Future Internet 2023, 15(3), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi15030095 - 27 Feb 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1762
Abstract
Industry 4.0 has revolutionized process innovation while facilitating and encouraging many new possibilities. The objective of Industry 4.0 is the radical enhancement of productivity, a goal that presupposes the integration of Operational Technology (OT) networks with Information Technology (IT) networks, which were hitherto [...] Read more.
Industry 4.0 has revolutionized process innovation while facilitating and encouraging many new possibilities. The objective of Industry 4.0 is the radical enhancement of productivity, a goal that presupposes the integration of Operational Technology (OT) networks with Information Technology (IT) networks, which were hitherto isolated. This disruptive approach is enabled by adopting several emerging technologies in Enterprise processes. In this manuscript, we discuss what we believe to be one of the main challenges preventing the full employment of Industry 4.0, namely, the integration of Operation Technology networking and Information Technology networking. We discuss the technical challenges alongside the potential tools while providing a state-of-the-art use case scenario. We showcase a possible solution based on the Asset Administration Shell approach, referring to the use case of camera synchronization for collaborative tasks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Future Internet Technology in Italy 2022–2023)
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14 pages, 1555 KiB  
Article
A Simple Model of Knowledge Scaffolding Applied to Wikipedia Growth
by Franco Bagnoli and Guido de Bonfioli Cavalcabo’
Future Internet 2023, 15(2), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi15020067 - 06 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1534
Abstract
We illustrate a simple model of knowledge scaffolding, based on the process of building a corpus of knowledge, each item of which is linked to “previous” ones. The basic idea is that the relationships among the items of corpus can be essentially drawn [...] Read more.
We illustrate a simple model of knowledge scaffolding, based on the process of building a corpus of knowledge, each item of which is linked to “previous” ones. The basic idea is that the relationships among the items of corpus can be essentially drawn as an acyclic network, in which topmost contributions are “derived” from items at lower levels. When a new item is added to the corpus, we impose a limit to the maximum unit increase (i.e., “jumps”) of knowledge. We analyzed the time growth of the corpus (number of items) and the maximum knowledge, both showing a power law. Another result was that the number of “holes” in the knowledge corpus always remains limited. Our model can be used as a rough approximation to the asymptotic growth of Wikipedia, and indeed, actual data show a certain resemblance with our model. Assuming that the user base is growing, at beginning, in an exponential way, one can also recover the early phases of Wikipedia growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Future Internet Technology in Italy 2022–2023)
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13 pages, 408 KiB  
Article
BART-IT: An Efficient Sequence-to-Sequence Model for Italian Text Summarization
by Moreno La Quatra and Luca Cagliero
Future Internet 2023, 15(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi15010015 - 27 Dec 2022
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 3438
Abstract
The emergence of attention-based architectures has led to significant improvements in the performance of neural sequence-to-sequence models for text summarization. Although these models have proved to be effective in summarizing English-written documents, their portability to other languages is limited thus leaving plenty of [...] Read more.
The emergence of attention-based architectures has led to significant improvements in the performance of neural sequence-to-sequence models for text summarization. Although these models have proved to be effective in summarizing English-written documents, their portability to other languages is limited thus leaving plenty of room for improvement. In this paper, we present BART-IT, a sequence-to-sequence model, based on the BART architecture that is specifically tailored to the Italian language. The model is pre-trained on a large corpus of Italian-written pieces of text to learn language-specific features and then fine-tuned on several benchmark datasets established for abstractive summarization. The experimental results show that BART-IT outperforms other state-of-the-art models in terms of ROUGE scores in spite of a significantly smaller number of parameters. The use of BART-IT can foster the development of interesting NLP applications for the Italian language. Beyond releasing the model to the research community to foster further research and applications, we also discuss the ethical implications behind the use of abstractive summarization models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Future Internet Technology in Italy 2022–2023)
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12 pages, 2751 KiB  
Article
A Multi-Sensory In-Store Virtual Reality Customer Journey for Retailing: A Field Study in a Furniture Flagship Store
by Michele Fiorentino, Marina Ricci, Alessandro Evangelista, Vito Modesto Manghisi and Antonio Emmanuele Uva
Future Internet 2022, 14(12), 381; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi14120381 - 16 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2493
Abstract
The choice of furniture in a retail store is usually based on a product catalog and simplistic product renderings with different configurations. We present a preliminary field study that tests a Multi-Sensory In-Store Virtual Reality Customer Journey (MSISVRCJ) through a virtual catalog and [...] Read more.
The choice of furniture in a retail store is usually based on a product catalog and simplistic product renderings with different configurations. We present a preliminary field study that tests a Multi-Sensory In-Store Virtual Reality Customer Journey (MSISVRCJ) through a virtual catalog and a product configurator to support furnishings sales. The system allows customers to stay immersed in the virtual environment (VE) while the sales expert changes the colors, textures, and finishes of the furniture, also exploring different VEs. In addition, customers can experience realistic tactile feedback with in-store samples of furniture they can test. The journey is implemented for a furniture manufacturer and tested in a flagship store. Fifty real customers show positive feedback in terms of general satisfaction, perceived realism, and acceptance. This method can increase purchase confidence, reduce entrepreneurial costs, and leverage in-store versus online shopping. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Future Internet Technology in Italy 2022–2023)
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20 pages, 997 KiB  
Article
A Blockchain-Based Framework to Enhance Anonymous Services with Accountability Guarantees
by Francesco Buccafurri, Vincenzo De Angelis and Sara Lazzaro 
Future Internet 2022, 14(8), 243; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi14080243 - 21 Aug 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1891
Abstract
Anonymous service delivery has attracted the interest of research and the industry for many decades. To obtain effective solutions, anonymity should be guaranteed against the service provider itself. However, if the full anonymity of users is implemented, no accountability mechanism can be provided. [...] Read more.
Anonymous service delivery has attracted the interest of research and the industry for many decades. To obtain effective solutions, anonymity should be guaranteed against the service provider itself. However, if the full anonymity of users is implemented, no accountability mechanism can be provided. This represents a problem, especially when referring to scenarios in which a user, protected by anonymity, may perform illegally when leveraging the anonymous service. In this paper, we propose a blockchain-based solution to the trade-off between anonymity and accountability. In particular, our solution relies on three independent parties (one of which is the service provider itself) such that only the collaboration of all three actors allows for the disclosure of the real identity of the user. In all other cases, anonymity is guaranteed. To show the feasibility of the proposal, we developed a prototype with user-friendly interfaces that minimize the client-side operations. Our solution is then also effective from the point of view of usability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Future Internet Technology in Italy 2022–2023)
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