Alessandro Piva's Home Page

Alessandro Piva's Photo Associate Professor
Department of Information Engineering 
University of Florence
via S. Marta 3, 50139, Firenze, Italy
tel: +39 055 2758584
e-mail: alessandro.piva [AT]



Head of FORLAB, Multimedia Forensics Laboratory



School Co-Organizer of the IEEE SPS Italy Chapter Summer School on Signal Processing



        Co-Organizer of the First IEEE IFS-TC Image Forensics Challenge Challenge



Research |Teaching | Projects | Technical Assignments |Publications

Alessandro Piva received the Laurea degree (cum laude) in Electronics Engineering (Telecommunication branch) in 1995 from the University of Firenze and the Ph.D. degree in "Information and Telecommunications Engineering" from the University of Florence, discussing the thesis “A DCT-Domain Watermarking System for Copyright Protection of Digital Images”.

He received a Research Grant on “Watermarking of digital images for secure distribution over telematic networks” obtained from the Department of Electronics and Telecommunications, University of Florence, from 2000 to 2002.

From 2002 until 2004 he was Research Scientist at the National Inter-university Consortium for Telecommunications (CNIT).

From January 2005 until October 2014, he was Assistant Professor at the Department of Electronics and Telecommunications, now  Department of Information Engineering, of the University of Florence.

Since November 1st, 2014, he is Associate Professor at the Department of Information Engineering, University of Florence.

He's also involved in the research activities of CNIT and of the Media Integration and Communication Center of Excellence (MICC).


Look at the My Scholar profile and at the Scopus Author Detail (Scopus account needed), and my ResearcherID.



His research interests lie in the areas of Multimedia security and protection, and of Image and Video Processing. Current research interests include the following areas:

Multimedia security and protection

with particular reference to digital watermarking and multimedia forensics.

He started working on the use of digital watermarking for image protection since the late nineties. For more than 15 years, he contributed to build a solid theoretical framework for watermarking and developed a wide set of practical methods bridging the gap between theory and practice. More specifically, he has contributed to the development of robust digital watermarking techniques for digital images and video sequences; later on, he has developed some secure watermarking methods for multimedia content protection through the adoption of innovative cryptographic solutions. Regarding multimedia forensics, he contributed to the design of statistical models for the detection and localization of traces left by double compression in images, video and audio files; moreover, he worked on the reliability and efficiency of image forensic tools in practical applications, mainly through the exploitation of decision fusion methods. He also developed a number of forensic techniques exploiting the traces left by the acquisition devices, as well as geometric inconsistencies often associated to image tampering.

Image and Video Processing for Cultural Heritage, medical and industrial applications

in this field he contributed to the development of image processing algorithms that can help the restorers in the analysis during the restoration phases; on the other hand, by means of image processing it is possible to carry out a sort of virtual restoration. The developed tools have been integrated into a package named ArtShop. Multispectral imaging techniques were applied on the CH field to achieve material localization and identification on painting surfaces, and on medical field for early diagnosis of melanoma. Analysis of angiographies for the automatic measuring of diameter and temporal pulsatility in blood vessels was studied; parameter estimation for the automatic recognition of textile (cheratinic) fibres was also studied.

Other research interests included video coding techniques, and multimedia applications in the Cultural Heritage field.



For teaching activity check here:

Pagina ufficiale Docente Piva Alessandro


Research Projects

The research activity has been developed in the framework of both Italian national projects, as well as Projects funded by the European Community and by DARPA. In particular, he was person responsible for the University of Florence or for the Florence Research Unit of CNIT, of the following Projects:

  • FENCE (Forensic modulEs for the automated aNalysis of physiCal integrity in imagEs), under the Media Forensics (MediFor) programme funded by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), 2016–2020 (UNIFI)
  • FP7 EU Project MAVEN, 2013-2015 (CNIT)
  • FP7 EU Project REWIND, 2011-2014 (UNIFI)
  • FP7 IST Project LivingKnowledge, 2009-2012 (CNIT)
  • EU IST Project SPEED (Signal Processing in the EncryptEd Domain), 2006- 2009 (UNIFI)
  • EU Galileo Project CUSPIS (Cultural Heritage Space Management System), 2005- 2006 (UNIFI)
  • EU IST Project ECRYPT (European Network of Excellence in Cryptology), 2004- 2008 (CNIT)
  • National Project PRIN2007 “Privacy aware processing of encrypted signals for treating sensitive information” co-funded by MIUR, 2008-2010 (UNIFI)
  • Project ST@rT - Scienze e Tecnologie per il patrimonio Artistico architettonico ed archeologico Toscano, funded by the Tuscany Region, 2007- 2010, (UNIFI)
  • Moreover, he was person responsible of several Research funds received by private companies.


Technical Assignments

  • IEEE Senior Member
  • IEEE Information Forensics and Security Technical Committee Member (2011-2013), and Associate Member (2015-2016)
  • IAssociate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Multimedia ( 2013-Present)
  • Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology  (2012-2014)
  • Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security (2009-2013)
  • Associate Editor of the IEEE Signal Processing Magazine e-Newsletter  (2007- 2009)
  • Associate Editor of the EURASIP Journal on Information Security  (2006- Present)
  • Associate Editor of the LNCS Transactions on Data Hiding and Multimedia Security (2005- Present)
  • Co Guest Editor for a Special Issue of IEEE Transactions on Image Processing on “Image Processing for Cultural Heritage”, March 2004.
  • Co Guest Editor for a Special Issue of EURASIP Journal on Information Security on “Signal Processing in the Encrypted Domain”, 2007.
  • Co Guest Editor for a Special Issue of IEEE Signal Processing Magazine on “Visual Cultural Heritage”.
  • Technical Co-Chair of 2004 International Workshop On Multimedia Signal Processing, September 29 - October 1, 2004, Siena, Italy.
  • Program Co-Chair of 2nd ACM Workshop on Information Hiding and Multimedia Security, June 11 - 13, 2014, Salzburg, Austria
  • Conference Chair of the First International Workshop on Signal Processing in the EncryptEd Domain (SPEED2009) , Lausanne, Switzerland, September 10, 2009.
  • Publications Chair of Fifth IEEE International Workshop on Information Forensics and Security (WIFS 2013), Guangzhou, China, Nov. 18-21 2013.
  • Publications Co-Chair of 2014 IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing (ICASSP2014), Firenze, Italy, May 4-9, 2014.
  • Invited Session Chair of Third International Conference on Intelligent Information Hiding and Multimedia Signal Processing (IIHMSP07), November 26-28, 2007, Taiwan.
  • co-Chair of a Special Session on "Media Security", at 6th International Workshop on Image Analysis for Multimedia Interactive Services (WIAMIS2005) - 13-15 April 2005, Montreux, Switzerland.
  • co-Chair of a Special Session on “Cultural Heritage”, 14th European Signal Processing Conference EUSIPCO 2006, Firenze, Italy, September 4-8, 2006.
  • co-Chair of a Special Session on “Signal Processing in the Encrypted Domain”, 16th European Signal Processing Conference EUSIPCO 2008, Lausanne, Switzerland, August 25-29, 2008.
  • Reviewer for several International Journals and Program Committee Member of several International Conferences.



The complete list of publications is available through the Publication Engine of IAPP group.

Main publications are the following:

  1. F.Bartolini, A.Piva, "Median based relaxation of smoothness constraints in optic flow computation", Pattern Recognition Letters, vol. 18,  no. 7,  July 1997,  pp. 649-655.
  2. M.Barni, F.Bartolini, V.Cappellini, A.Piva, "A DCT-domain system for robust image watermarking", Signal Processing, Special Issue in "Copyright Protection and Access Control for Multimedia Services", vol. 66,  no. 3,  May 1998,  pp. 357-372.
  3. M.Barni, F.Bartolini, V.Cappellini, A.Piva, "Copyright protection of digital images by embedded unperceivable marks",  Image & Vision Computing, vol. 16,  no. 12-13,  August 1998,  pp. 897-906.
  4. M.Barni, F.Bartolini, A.De Rosa, A.Piva, "Capacity of Full Frame DCT Image Watermarks",  IEEE Transactions on Image Processing, vol. 9,  no. 8,  August 2000,  pp. 1450-1455.
  5. M.Barni, F.Bartolini, A.De Rosa, A.Piva, "A New Decoder for the Optimum Recovery of Non-Additive Watermarks",  IEEE Transactions on Image Processing, vol. 10,  no. 5,  May 2001,  pp. 755-766.
  6. M.Barni, F.Bartolini, A.Piva, "Improved Wavelet-Based Watermarking Through Pixel-Wise Masking", IEEE Transactions on Image Processing, vol. 10,  no. 5,  May 2001,  pp. 783-791.
  7. M.Barni, F.Bartolini, A.De Rosa, A.Piva, "Color image watermarking in the Karhunen-Loeve transform domain",  Journal of Electronic Imaging, vol. 11,  no. 1,  January 2002,  pp. 87-95.
  8. M.Barni, F.Bartolini, F.Salucco, A.Piva, "Robust Watermarking of Cartographic Images",  EURASIP Journal on Applied Signal Processing, vol. 2002,  no. 2,  February 2002,  pp. 197-208.
  9. M.Barni, F.Bartolini, A.Piva, "Multichannel Watermarking of Color Images",  IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology, vol. 12,  no. 3,  March 2002,  pp. 142-156.
  10. A.Piva, M.Barni, F.Bartolini, "Managing Copyright in Open Networks",  IEEE Internet Computing, vol. 6,  no. 3,  May/June 2002,  pp. 18-26.
  11. R.Caldelli, M.Barni, F.Bartolini, A.Piva, "Object Watermarking for MPEG-4 Video Protection", Telecommunications Review: Special Issue on Digital Multimedia Contents & Security, vol. 12,  no. 5,  October 2002,  pp. 695-710.
  12. M.Barni, F.Bartolini, A.De Rosa, A.Piva, "Optimum Decoding and Detection of Multiplicative Watermarks",  IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing, Special Issue on Signal Processing for Data Hiding in Digital Media & Secure Delivery, vol. 51,  no. 4,  April 2003,  pp. 1118-1123.
  13. V.Cappellini, M.Barni, M.Corsini, A.De Rosa, A.Piva, "ArtShop: an art-oriented image processing tool for cultural heritage applications",  The Journal of Visualization and Computer Animation, vol. 14,  no. 3,  July 2003,  pp. 149-158.
  14. V.Cappellini, H.Maitre, I.Pitas, A.Piva, "Guest Editorial Special Issue on Image Processing for Cultural Heritage",  IEEE Transactions on Image Processing, vol. 13,  no. 3,  March 2004,  pp. 273-276.
  15. M.Barni, F.Bartolini, A.Piva, "Performance Analysis of ST-DM Watermarking in Presence of Nonadditive Attack",  IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing, Supplement on Secure Media, vol. 52,  no. 10,  October 2004,  pp. 2965-2974.
  16. A.Piva, F.Bartolini, R.Caldelli, "Self recovery authentication of images in the DWT domain", International Journal of Image and Graphics, vol. 5,  no. 1,  January 2005,  pp. 149-165.
  17. M.Barni, A.Pelagotti, A.Piva, "Image Processing for the Analysis and Conservation of Paintings: Opportunities and Challenges",  IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, vol. 22,  no. 5,  September 2005,  pp. 141-144.
  18. A.Piva, A.De Rosa, F.Bartolini, M.Barni, "Data hiding technologies for digital radiographies",  IEE Proceedings on Vision, Image & Signal Processing, vol. 152,  no. 5,  October 2005,  pp. 604-610.
  19. A.Piva, "On the Integration between Digital Watermarking and Cryptography",  EURASIP NewsLetter, vol. 16,  no. 4,  December 2005,  pp. 2-14.
  20. A.Piva, M.Barni, "Design and Analysis of the First BOWS Contest",  EURASIP Journal on Information Security, vol. 2007,  no. Article ID 98684, doi:10.1155/20,  2007,  pp. 8 pages.
  21. C.Orlandi, A.Piva, M.Barni, "Oblivious Neural Network Computing via Homomorphic Encryption", EURASIP Journal on Information Security, vol. 2007,  no. Article ID 37343, doi:10.1155/20,  2007,  pp. 11 pages.
  22. Z.Erkin, A.Piva, S.Katzenbeisser, R.L.Lagendijk, J.Shokrollahi, G.Neven, M.Barni, "Protection and Retrieval of Encrypted Multimedia Content: When Cryptography Meets Signal Processing", EURASIP Journal on Information Security, vol. 2007,  no. Article ID 78943, doi: 10.1155/2,  2007,  pp. 20 pages.
  23. A.Piva, S.Katzenbeisser, "Guest Editorial Special Issue on Signal Processing in the Encrypted Domain",  EURASIP Journal on Information Security, vol. 2007,  no. Article ID 82790, doi: 10.1155,  2007,  pp. 1 pages.
  24. A.Pelagotti, A.Del Mastio, A.De Rosa, A.Piva, "Multispectral imaging of paintings",  IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, vol. 25,  no. 4,  July 2008,  pp. 27-36.
  25. M.Barni, J.-A.Beraldin, C.Lahanier, A.Piva, "Signal Processing in Visual Cultural Heritage [From the guest editor's]",  IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, vol. 25,  no. 4,  July 2008,  pp. 10-12.
  26. T.Bianchi, A.Piva, M.Barni, "On the Implementation of the Discrete Fourier Transform in the Encrypted Domain",  IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security, vol. 4,  no. 1,  Mar. 2009,  pp. 86-97.
  27. T.Bianchi, A.Piva, M.Barni, "Encrypted Domain DCT based on Homomorphic Cryptosystems", EURASIP Journal on Information Security, vol. 2009,  no. Article ID 716357,  2009,  pp. 12 pages.
  28. A.Piva, T.Bianchi, A.De Rosa, "Secure Client-Side ST-DM Watermark Embedding",  IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics & Security, vol. 5,  no. 1,  March 2010,  pp. 13-26.
  29. T.Bianchi, A.Piva, M.Barni, "Composite Signal Representation for Fast and Storage-Efficient Processing of Encrypted Signals",  IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security, vol. 5,  no. 1,  March 2010,  pp. 180-187.
  30. I.Amerini, R.Caldelli, V.Cappellini, F.Picchioni , A.Piva, "Estimate of PRNU noise based on different noise models for source camera identification",  International Journal of Digital Crime and Forensics (IJDCF), vol. 2,  no. 2,  Apr-Jun 2010,  pp. 21-33.
  31. A.Rial, M.Deng, T.Bianchi, A.Piva, B.Preneel, "A Provably Secure Anonymous Buyer-Seller Watermarking Protocol",  IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics & Security, vol. 5,  no. 4,  Dec. 2010,  pp. 920-931.
  32. T.Bianchi, A.Piva, "Detection of Nonaligned Double JPEG Compression Based on Integer Periodicity Maps",  IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics & Security, vol. 7,  no. 2,  April 2012 (published online Oct. 2011),  pp. 842-848.
  33. T.Bianchi, A.Piva, "Image Forgery Localization via Block-Grained Analysis of JPEG Artifacts",  IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics & Security, vol. 7,  no. 3,  June 2012 (published online Feb. 2012),  pp. 1003 - 1017.
  34. P.Ferrara, T.Bianchi, A.De Rosa, A.Piva, "Image Forgery Localization via Fine-Grained Analysis of CFA Artifacts",  IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics & Security, vol. 7,  no. 5,  Oct. 2012 (published online June 2012),  pp. 1566-1577.
  35. S.Milani, M.Fontani, P.Bestagini, M.Barni, A.Piva, M.Tagliasacchi, S.Tubaro, "An overview on video forensics",  APSIPA Transactions on Signal and Information Processing, vol. 1,  August 2012,  pp. e2 (18 pages).
  36. A.Piva, "An Overview on Image Forensics",  ISRN Signal Processing, vol. 2013,  no. Article ID 496701,  January 2013,  pp. 22 pages.
  37. T.Bianchi, A.Piva, "Secure Watermarking for Multimedia Content Protection: A Review of its Benefits and Open Issues",  IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, vol. 30,  no. 2,  March 2013,  pp. 87-96.
  38. M.Fontani, T.Bianchi, A.De Rosa, A.Piva, M.Barni, "A Framework for Decision Fusion in Image Forensics Based on Dempster–Shafer Theory of Evidence",  IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics & Security, vol. 8,  no. 4,  April 2013,  pp. 593-607.
  39. M.Fontani, T.Bianchi, A.De Rosa, A.Piva, M.Barni, "A Forensic Tool for Investigating Image Forgeries",  International Journal of Digital Crime and Forensics, vol. 5,  Oct. 2013,  pp. 15-33.
  40. T.Bianchi, A.De Rosa, M.Fontani, G.Rocciolo, A.Piva, "Detection and localization of double compression in MP3 audio tracks",  EURASIP Journal on Information Security, no. 2014:10,  2014,  .
  41. T.Bianchi, A.Piva, "TTP-free Asymmetric Fingerprinting based on Client Side Embedding",  IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics & Security, vol. 9,  no. 10,  Oct. 2014,  pp. 1557-1568.
  42. A.De Rosa, M.Fontani, M.Massai, A.Piva, M.Barni, "Second-Order Statistics Analysis to Cope With Contrast Enhancement Counter-Forensics",  IEEE Signal Processing Letters, vol. 22,  no. 8,  August 2015,  pp. 1132-1136.

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