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Research interests in the modelling and identification field started at the Engineering School of Bologna University in 1970. The researches performed in subsequent years have led to the development of procedures and concepts that have been constantly applied to industrial, natural and economic processes to evaluate their value as practical tools for engineers. Some of these applications have concerned:

CSTR reactors for rubber production (Centro Ricerche Montedison, Ferrara)

Benzene-toluene distillation columns (CLEDCA-ITALGAS, Fidenza)

Power plant of Pont-sur-Sambre, Francia (IFAC test case)

Isobuthane-normalbuthane distillation columns (ANIC, Milano)

Natural gas fields of the Po Valley (Agip Mineraria, Milano)

Fiberglass production furnaces (DATAMONT, Milano)

Phosphorus kinetics in fresh waters (Canada Centre for Inland Waters, Burlington, Canada)

Gasoline consumption on a free market, (Agip, Roma)

Natural gas reservoirs (Agip Mineraria, Milano)

Ethane-ethylene distillation columns (DATAMONT, Milano)

Oil fields (Istituto di Scienze Minerarie, Università di Bologna)

Primary heat exchangers in a fast reactor (ENEA, Bologna)

Eutrophication phenomena in the lakes Erie, Ontario and in the Adriatic Sea (Canada Centre for Inland Waters, Burlington, Canada and CRISM, Bologna)

Dynamic models for "mini" fuel injectors (WEBER, Bologna)

Many of these applications have been performed in the context of the Electronic Engineering curricula or in the context of the Doctorate curricula on System Engineering at Bologna University.

Present research activities of the team are oriented toward the analysis of several identification and estimation techniques whose applications are often described in the literature. Many of these schemes are based on assumptions which are not verifiable on the basis of the available input-output sequences.

The Frisch scheme, which does not introduce any a priori hypothesis on the amount of the additive noises affecting the input-output sequences of the system, belongs to this context and relies on mathematical descriptions in the family of the "errors-in-variables" models. It treats all variables in a symmetric way and leads to the estimation of a whole set of models compatible with the data.

The extension of the Frisch scheme, originally proposed for algebraic systems, to the identification of dynamic processes has shown that it is possible, in this case, to determine a single solution corresponding to the exact model of the system and of the noise. In the identification of real systems, however, the assumptions behind the scheme are never exactly fulfilled and the Frisch scheme leads to a whole family of possible solutions; the selection of a single model is possible only introducing criteria based on suitable cost functions.

The most relevant aspects of the researches currently carried out are the following:

Comparison between the results obtained by means of errors-in-variables procedures and those obtained by other methods;

Extension of the Frisch scheme to multivariable processes;

Development of general errors-in-variables identification procedures assuming non-white and/or correlated noises;

Computation of the maximal corank of a covariance matrix in the context of the Frisch scheme;

Frequency-domain approaches for errors-in-variables models identification;

Stochastic realization for interconnected systems;

Fault diagnosis in dynamic systems;

Application of identification procedures to real processes;

Application of advanced tools in higher education;

Blind identification and equalization;

Fault detection and isolation;

Errors-in-variables filtering and extensions of Kalman filtering;

Identification of noisy ARX and AR models.

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