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Marco Cristani

Affiliated Researcher

Research Line

Pattern Analysis and Computer Vision


IIT Central Research Lab Genova


+39 010 71781 222


Marco Cristani (M’06) received the Laurea degree in 2002 and the Ph.D. degree in 2006, both in Computer Science from the Università di Verona, Verona, Italy.

He was a visiting Ph.D. student at the Computer Vision Lab, Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Systems School of Engineering (IRIS), University of Southern California, Los Angeles, in 2004–2005.

He is now Assistant Professor with the Dipartimento di Informatica, Università di Verona, Italy, working with the Vision, Image Processing and Sounds (VIPS) Lab and Team Leader with the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT), Genova, IIT.

His main research interests include statistical pattern recognition, generative modeling via graphical models, and nonparametric data fusion techniques, with applications on social signalling, surveillance, segmentation, and image and video retrieval.

He is the author of several papers in the above subjects and a reviewer for several international conferences and journals.

Selected Publications




  • M. Cristani, M. Bicego, V. Murino, Audio-Visual Event Recognition, IEEE Transactions on Multimedia, Vol. 9/2 pp. 257-267, February 2007
  • M. Bicego, M. Cristani, V. Murino, Unsupervised Scene Analysis: A Hidden Markov Model Approach, Computer Vision and Image Understanding, Vol. 102/1, pp. 22-41, April 2006



M. Cristani, A. Perina, U. Castellani, V. Murino. Geo-located image categorization and location recognition. Pattern Recognition and Image Analysis, Vol. 102/1, pp. 245-252, June 2009 | pdf soon!.



  • U.Castellani, M.Cristani, S.Fantoni, V.Murino, Interest points detection and matching by exploiting 3D mesh saliency in a Hidden Markov Model framework, Computer Graphics Forum Vol. 29(2), (also published in the Proceedings of Eurographics 2008, Creta




  • U. Castellani, M. Cristani, A. Daducci, P. Farace, P. Marzola, V. Murino, A. Sbarbati. DCE-MRI Data Analysis for Cancer Area Classification. Methods of information in medicine, Vol. 48, No. 3, June 2009, pp. 248-253
  • A. Perina, M. Cristani, L. Xumerle, V. Murino, P.F. Pignatti and G. Malerba, FNH-HMM double net: a Bayesian network for haplotype reconstruction and haplotype block discovery, Artificial Intelligence in Medicine, Elsevier, in press
  • Umberto Castellani, Marco Cristani, Carlo Combi, Vittorio Murino, Andrea Sbarbati, Pasquina Marzola. Visual MRI: Merging information visualization and non-parametric clustering techniques for MRI dataset analysis. Artificial Intelligence in Medicine. Vol. 44, No. 3, Novembre 2008, pp. 171-282





  • D. S. Cheng, M. Cristani, V. Murino. Distillation: a super-resolution approach for the selective analysis of noisy and unconstrained video, in Machine Learning for Human Motion Analysis, L.Wang , L.Cheng , G.Zhao, IGI Global , 2009 (in press)






  • M. Cristani, M. Bicego, V. Murino, Audio-video integration for background modelling, in Computer Vision - ECCV 2004 (European Conference on Computer Vision, acceptance rate = 34%), Lecture Notes in Computer Science 3022, T. Pajdla, J. Matas, Eds., pp. 202-213, Springer, 2004




  • M. Bicego, M. Cristani, A. Fusiello, V. Murino, Watershed-based Unsupervised Clustering, in Lecture Notes on Computer Science n. 2683, A.Rangarajan, M.Figueiredo, J.Zerubia Eds., Springer, pp. 83-94, 2003





  • A.Perina, M.Cristani, U. Castellani, V.Murino, N.Jojic. Free energy score space,In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), Vancouver, Canada, Dec. 2009
  • A.Perina, M.Cristani, U. Castellani, V.Murino, N.Jojic. A hybrid generative/discriminative classification framework based on free-energy terms, Int’l Conf. on Computer Vision ICCV 2009, Kyoto, Japan, Oct. 2009
  • A.Perina, M.Cristani, U.Castellani and V.Murino. A new generative feature set based on entropy distance for discriminative classification In IEEE International Conference on Image Analysis and Processing ICIAP 2009, September 2009, Vietri sul Mare (SA), Italy, pp.199-208
  • N.Jojic, A.Perina, M.Cristani, V.Murino, B.Frey. Stel component analysis: Modeling spatial correlations in image class structure. In IEEE Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition CVPR 2009, Miami, FL, USA, June 2009




  • L. Bazzani, M. Cristani, M. Bicego, V. Murino. Subjective online feature selection for occlusion management in tracking applications, Proc. Int. Conf. on Image Processing (ICIP2009)
  • A.Perina, M.Cristani, V.Murino and N.Jojic. Capturing video structure with mixture of probabilistic index maps . In 1th ECCV-workshop on Machine learning for vision-based motion analysis. 10th European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV), 2008, Marseille, France in print
  • M. Cristani, V.Murino, Background subtraction with adaptive spatio-temporal neighborhood analysis, Proceedings of VISAPP,International Conference on Computer Vision Theory and Applications 2008, Madeira, PT, in print
  • M. Cristani, V.Murino, A Spatial Sampling Mechanism for Effective Background Subtraction, Proceedings of VISAPP,International Conference on Computer Vision Theory and Applications 2007, Vol.2 (Image Understanding, Motion, Tracking and Stero Vision) pp. 403-410
  • M. Cristani, M.Bicego, V.Murino Audio-Visual Foreground Extraction for Event Characterization, International Workshop on Semantic Learning Applications in Multimedia (SLAM), in association with CVPR 2006
  • A. Colombari, M. Cristani, V.Murino and A.Fusiello Exemplar-based Background Model Initialization, Proceedings of ACM VSSN 2005 Workshop on Video Surveillance and Sensor Networks, pp.29-36, November 2005
  • M. Cristani, D.S. Cheng, V. Murino, D. Pannullo, Distilling Information with Super-Resolution for Video Surveillance, 2nd ACM International Workshop on Video Surveillance and Sensor Networks, New York, USA, pp.2-11, October 2004
  • M. Cristani, M. Bicego, V. Murino, On-line adaptive background modelling for audio surveillance, Int’l Conf. on Pattern Recognition ICPR 2004, Cambridge, UK, Vol. 2, pp. 399-402, August 2004
  • M. Cristani, M. Bicego, V. Murino,  Multi-level Background Initialization using Hidden Markov Models, First ACM SIGMM International Workshop on Video Surveillance, Berkeley, CA, USA, pp. 11-20, Nov. 2003
  • M. Cristani, M. Bicego, V. Murino, Integrated Region- and Pixel-based Approach to Background Modelling, IEEE Wks. on Motion and Video Computing, Orlando, FL, pp. 3-8, Dec. 2002




  • A.Perina, M.Cristani and V.Murino. Unsupervised Learning of saliency concepts for image classification and retrieval. In 13th Iberoamerican Congress on Pattern Recognition (CIARP), Havana, Cuba, September 2008. in print
  • M.Cristani, A.Perina, Umberto Castellani,and V.Murino. Content Visualization and Management of Geo-located Image Databases In proceedings of ACM SIGCHI CHI 2008 (Work in Progress) Florence, Italy, pp.2823-2828
  • M.Cristani, A.Perina, Umberto Castellani,and V.Murino. Geo-located image analysis using latent representations. In proceedings of IEEE Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) 2008, Anchorage, Alaska
  • M.Cristani, A.Perina and V.Murino. Geo-located image grouping using latent descriptions. In 6th International Conference on Computer Vision Systems (ICVS), Santorini May 2008
  • A.Perina, M.Cristani and V.Murino. Natural scene categorization by hierarchical extraction of tipicality patterns. In IEEE International Conference on Image Analysis and Processing (ICIAP), Modena September 2007, pp.801-806




  • M. Bicego, M. Cristani, V. Murino, E. Pekalska, R. Duin. Clustering-based construction of Hidden Markov Models for generative kernels, In proceedings of the International Conference on Energy Minimization Methods in Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (EMMCVPR2009), Bonn, pp.466-479
  • M.Bicego, M.Cristani and V.Murino. Sparseness Achievement with Hidden Markov Models for 2D shape analysis. In IEEE International Conference on Image Analysis and Processing (ICIAP), Modena September 2007, pp.67-72 (BEST POSTER AWARD)




  • M. Farenzena, L. Bazzani, and V. Murino, M. Cristani. Towards a Subject-Centered Analysis for Automated Video Surveillance, In the International Conference on Image Analysis and Processing (ICIAP), 2009
  • M. Cristani, A. Pesarin, C. Drioli, A. Perina, A. Tavano and V. Murino. Auditory Dialog Analysis and Understanding by Generative Modelling of Interactional Dynamics, Second IEEE Workshop on CVPR for Human Communicative Behavior Analysis, Miami 2009, 103-109
  • A.Pesarin, M.Cristani, V.Murino, C.Diroli and A.Perina,A statistical signature for automatic dialogue classification. In proceedings of the International Conference on Pattern Recognition (ICPR) Tampa, Florida. in print
  • M.Cristani and V.Murino. Time-dependent interactive graphical models for human activity analysis. In International Workshop on Advances in Pattern Recognition (IWAPR), Plymouth, July 2007, pp 109-118.




  • D. S. Cheng, M. Bicego, U. Castellani, M. Cristani, S. Cerruti, M. Bellani, G. Rambaldelli, M. Aztori, P. Brambilla, V. Murino. A Hybrid Generative/Discriminative Method for Classification of Regions of Interest in Schizophrenia Brain MRI, Proc. of MICCAI09 workshop on Probabilistic Models for Medical Image Analysis, 2009
  • A. Daducci, U. Castellani, M. Cristani, P. Farace, P. Marzola, A. Sbarbati, V. Murino. Learning Approach to Analyze Tumour Heterogeneity in DCE-MRI Data During Anti-cancer Treatment, Artificial Intelligence in Medicine AIME 2009, Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence Vol. 5651/2009, July 2009, pp. 385-389
  • A. Perina, M. Cristani, G. Malerba, L. Xumerle, V. Murino, P.F. Pignatti, Unsupervised Haplotype Reconstruction and LD Blocks Discovery in a Hidden Markov Framework, Proceedings of Computational Intelligence Methods for BioInformatics and Biostatistics workshop, Portofino, Italy, pp. 659-665, 2007




  • U. Castellani , G. Cortelazzo , M. Cristani , E. Delponte, A. Fusiello, A. Giachetti S. Mizzaro, F. Odone, E. Puppo, R. Scateni, P. Zanuttigh. 3-SHIRT: Three-Dimensional Shape Indexing and Retrieval Techniques, In proceedings of Eurographics Italian Chapter Conference 2008
  • U.Castellani, M.Cristani, X.Gong, A.K. Jain and V.Murino. Sparse point statistical characterization for 3D face analysis. In proceedings of IEEE Computer Society Workshop on Biometrics (in association with CVPR 2008), Anchorage, Alaska, in print
  • M. Farenzena, M. Cristani, U. Castellani, A.Fusiello, 3D Object Face Clustering using Unsupervised Mean Shift, Proceedings of Eurographics Italia, Trento, Italy, pp. 39-43, 2007
  • U. Castellani, M. Cristani, P. Marzola, V. Murino, E. Rossato, A. Sbarbati, Cancer area characterization by non-parametric clustering, Intelligent Data Analysis in Biomedicine and Pharmacology, Verona, Italy, 2006
  • U. Castellani, M. Cristani, V.Murino Acoustic Range Image Segmentation by Effective Mean Shift, Proceedings of Int’l Conf. on Image Processing ICIP 2006,  pp 2437-2440, October 2006
  • M. Cristani, U. Castellani, V.Murino Adaptive Feature Integration for Segmentation of 3D Data by Unsupervised Density Estimation, Proceedings of Int’l Conf. on Pattern Recognition ICPR 2006, vol.4, pp. 21-24, August 2006
  • U. Castellani, M. Cristani, V.Murino 3D Data Segmentation Using a Non-Parametric Density Estimation Approach, Proceedings of Eurographics Italian Chapter Conference ’06 , pp.99-103, 2006



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I numeri di IIT

L’Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) è una fondazione di diritto privato - cfr. determinazione Corte dei Conti 23/2015 “IIT è una fondazione da inquadrare fra gli organismi di diritto pubblico con la scelta di un modello di organizzazione di diritto privato per rispondere all’esigenza di assicurare procedure più snelle nella selezione non solo nell’ambito nazionale dei collaboratori, scienziati e ricercatori ”.

IIT è sotto la vigilanza del Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca e del Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze ed è stato istituito con la Legge 326/2003. La Fondazione ha l'obiettivo di promuovere l'eccellenza nella ricerca di base e in quella applicata e di favorire lo sviluppo del sistema economico nazionale. La costruzione dei laboratori iniziata nel 2006 si è conclusa nel 2009.

Lo staff complessivo di IIT conta circa 1440 persone. L’area scientifica è rappresentata da circa l’85% del personale. Il 45% dei ricercatori proviene dall’estero: di questi, il 29% è costituito da stranieri provenienti da oltre 50 Paesi e il 16% da italiani rientrati. Oggi il personale scientifico è composto da circa 60 principal investigators, circa 110 ricercatori e tecnologi di staff, circa 350 post doc, circa 500 studenti di dottorato e borsisti, circa 130 tecnici. Oltre 330 posti su 1400 creati su fondi esterni. Età media 34 anni. 41% donne / 59 % uomini.

Nel 2015 IIT ha ricevuto finanziamenti pubblici per circa 96 milioni di euro (80% del budget), conseguendo fondi esterni per 22 milioni di euro (20% budget) provenienti da 18 progetti europei17 finanziamenti da istituzioni nazionali e internazionali, circa 60 progetti industriali

La produzione di IIT ad oggi vanta circa 6990 pubblicazioni, oltre 130 finanziamenti Europei e 11 ERC, più di 350 domande di brevetto attive, oltre 12 start up costituite e altrettante in fase di lancio. Dal 2009 l’attività scientifica è stata ulteriormente rafforzata con la creazione di dieci centri di ricerca nel territorio nazionale (a Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) e internazionale (MIT ed Harvard negli USA) che, unitamente al Laboratorio Centrale di Genova, sviluppano i programmi di ricerca del piano scientifico 2015-2017.

IIT: the numbers

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) is a public research institute that adopts the organizational model of a private law foundation. IIT is overseen by Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca and Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze (the Italian Ministries of Education, Economy and Finance).  The Institute was set up according to Italian law 326/2003 with the objective of promoting excellence in basic and applied research andfostering Italy’s economic development. Construction of the Laboratories started in 2006 and finished in 2009.

IIT has an overall staff of about 1,440 people. The scientific staff covers about 85% of the total. Out of 45% of researchers coming from abroad 29% are foreigners coming from more than 50 countries and 16% are returned Italians. The scientific staff currently consists of approximately 60 Principal Investigators110 researchers and technologists350 post-docs and 500 PhD students and grant holders and 130 technicians. External funding has allowed the creation of more than 330 positions . The average age is 34 and the gender balance proportion  is 41% female against 59% male.

In 2015 IIT received 96 million euros in public funding (accounting for 80% of its budget) and obtained 22 million euros in external funding (accounting for 20% of its budget). External funding comes from 18 European Projects, other 17 national and international competitive projects and approximately 60 industrial projects.

So far IIT accounts for: about 6990 publications, more than 130 European grants and 11 ERC grants, more than 350 patents or patent applications12 up start-ups and as many  which are about to be launched. The Institute’s scientific activity has been further strengthened since 2009 with the establishment of 11 research nodes throughout Italy (Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) and abroad (MIT and Harvard University, USA), which, along with the Genoa-based Central Lab, implement the research programs included in the 2015-2017 Strategic Plan.