Curriculum Docente

Rocco Zaccagnino is Tenure-track Assistant Professor (SSD INF/01 - Informatica) since October 2021, Dipartimento di Informatica, Università degli Studi di Salerno.

He holds a national Italian habilitation to be Assistant professor of Computer Science (since April 2021).

He has a degree cum laude in Computer Science from the Università degli studi di Salerno, with the thesis “Molecular computing: Circular Splicing Systems" (July 2004) focused on the study of the computational power of splicing systems.

He has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Università degli Studi di Salerno, with the thesis “Music composition algorithms and musical gestures recognition” (March 2012), focused on the application of Computational Intelligence techniques, such as Neural Networks and Evolutionary Computation, to the problem of reproducing human beings' music creativity.

Rocco Zaccagnino’s research interest focuses on the study of nature-inspired systems, that is, that set of methodologies and computational models inspired by nature and biological processes, defined to face complex real problems for which traditional approaches are often ineffective, and for which instead there are numerous examples of biological systems that, when properly used and emulated, are able to build satisfactory solutions in acceptable times, especially from an applicative point of view. This idea of being inspired and imitating natural aspects has a precise location within AI, and takes the name of Computational Intelligence, whose objective is in fact the study of nature-inspired systems, and which includes Neural Networks, Evolutionary Computation, and Fuzzy systems.

The strong expertise on formal languages, combinatorics on words and computational intelligence has led his research activity to focus on two main directions. The first one, mainly theoretical, with special attention to splicing systems and combinatorial properties of Lyndon-based factorizations. The second one, mainly applicative, focusing on the definition on bio-inspired unconventional models of computation for creative dna computing and reproducing human beings' creativity.

The experience acquired, especially in the use of machine and deep learning techniques, has been exploited over the time also several scientific fields, such as Computer Music, Formal Languages, Computational Intelligence, Techno-regulation and Privacy, AI and Security, and Visualization.


  • TASK LEADER for the European project H2020 MSCA-RISE 872539 entitled Pangenome Graph algorithms and Data integration (PANGAIA). Specifically, he is RESPONSIBLE for the task "T3.1. Measures of similarities in pan-genomes" of workpackage WP3, relating to the study of new methodologies for comparing genomic sequences based on machine learning methods and formal languages. The aim of WP3 - "Comparative and Evolutionary PanGenomics", is the development of new methodologies for the comparison of multiple genomes. Within this WP3, a collaboration with prof. Jens Stoye of the University of Bielefeld (Germany), one of the researchers involved in the PANGEA project.
  • Department project (FARB): Aspetti emergenti e problemi aperti nella teoria dei linguaggi formali e della combinatoria delle parole; periodo: 18 Maggio 2020 - 18 Maggio 2023; componenti: Clelia De Felice, Marcella Anselmo, Rocco Zaccagnino, Rosalba Zizza.
  • Department project (FARB): Aspetti teorici e applicativi della combinatoria delle parole e dei linguaggi formali; periodo: 11 Marzo 2019 - 10 Marzo 2022; componenti: Clelia De Felice, Marcella Anselmo, Rocco Zaccagnino, Rosalba Zizza.
  • Department project (FARB): Codici, combinatoria delle parole e linguaggi formali: aspetti teorici e orientamenti applicativi; periodo: 20 Novembre 2017 - 20 Novembre 2020; componenti: Clelia De Felice, Marcella Anselmo, Rocco Zaccagnino, Rosalba Zizza.
  • Department project (FARB): Linguaggi Formali e Codici: metodi combinatori e orientamenti applicativi; periodo: 29 Luglio 2016 - 20 Settembre 2018; componenti: Clelia De Felice, Marcella Anselmo, Rocco Zaccagnino, Rosalba Zizza.
  • Department project (FARB): Aspetti matematici e applicativi nella teoria dei codici e dei linguaggi formali; periodo: 28 Luglio 2015 - 28 Luglio 2017; componenti: Clelia De Felice, Marcella Anselmo, Rocco Zaccagnino, Rosalba Zizza.
  • Department project (FARB): Codici e sistemi splicing nella teoria dei linguaggi formali; periodo: 7 Novembre 2014 - 7 Novembre 2016; componenti: Clelia De Felice, Marcella Anselmo, Rocco Zaccagnino, Rosalba Zizza.
  • Department project (FARB): Aspetti algebrici e computazionali nella teoria dei codici, degli automi e dei linguaggi formali; periodo: 11 Dicembre 2013 - 11 Dicembre 2015; componenti: Clelia De Felice, Marcella Anselmo, Rocco Zaccagnino, Rosalba Zizza.

Networks and memberships

  • Team leader for the Musimathics Laboratory of the Dipartimento di Informatica, Università degli Studi di Salerno. The projects developed focus on Computational Intelligence and Music, Algorithmic Music Composition, Music Styles Recognition, Music Gestures Recognition, Human-Computer Interaction with Virtual Instruments, e Music Visualization.
  • Member of the unity of Salerno for the project MIUR PRIN 2010-2011 “Automi e Linguaggi Formali: Aspetti Matematici e Applicativi".
  • Scientific collaboration with the CNR of Florence, referent Sebastiano Faro, director of the Institute of Legal Informatics and Judicial Systems. The project, called “Manutenzione evolutiva della banca dati BIA-Biblioteca Iuris Antiqua”, had as its purpose the application of Machine Learning, Visualization and Data Mining techniques, for the design and development of a system for the management and analysis of legal and of Roman law. Rocco Zaccagnino held the role of scientific coordinator of the Machine Learning and Knowledge Mining Modules Task for the automatic analysis of legal sources.
  • Scientific coordinator of the research activity carried out in collaboration with the SPINOFF "Knowlab - The Knowledge Factory Spin Off" of the University of Sannio, Benevento, represented by prof. Ernesto Fabiani (managing director). Specifically, Rocco Zaccagnino is responsible for the activities related to the use of Machine Learning and Visual Analytics techniques to support the implementation of innovative Visual Information Retrieval and Knowledge Mining tools for the world of research and legal practice.
  • Founder and Member of EDGE: The Research Hub deals with issues at the intersection of Computer Science and Computational Social Science. The didactic and research topics covered by the group are about topics such as Computation, Science, Society, and Creativity. The team supports the thesis work of students of the Bachelor's and Master's in Computer Science and provides activities didactics for Ph.D. courses in Computer Science. The research group is characterized by both Nationally and Internationally collaborations. In particular, National collaborations include: the Department of Physics (University of Salerno), the University of Sannio (Benevento), and the National Institute for Public Policy Analysis (INAPP); the International collaborations include: AT&T (USA).
  • Scientific collaboration with the research group ALGOLAB del Dipartimento di Informatica, Sistemistica e Comunicazione dell'Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca: specifically, he has the role of manager and team leader for the research activity concerning the application of sequence analysis and combinatorial methods of words to Bioinformatics. He takes care of internship and thesis activities of students of the Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Computer Science. Topics covered include: Sequence Factorization Methods for Massive Data Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) and Combinatorial Word Algorithms for NGS Data Analysis.
  • Co-advisor of a PhD student: Co-supervision for the project “Machine Learning e Privacy, Social Network Analysis and Prediction” of the PhD student Alfonso Guarino that led to more than 15 publications.


Ph.D Course: Computational Intelligence & Techno-regulation. Paradigms, methods, tools

Undergrated classes taught:

  • Elementi di Teoria della Computazione (since 2022)
  • Reti di Calcolatori (since 2017)
  • Metodi matematici per l'Informatica (since 2018)
  • Architettura degli Elaboratori (since 2018)


Professional activities:

  • Reviewer for Information Sciences, Expert Systems with Applications, Knowledge-Based Systems, Theoretical Computer Science, Soft Computing, IEEE Transactions on Computational Social Systems, IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing, IEEE Access, Multimedia Tools and Applications, SN Applied Sciences, Future Internet, Applied Sciences, AI Journal, Sustainability, Electronics, Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence.
  • Editorial board member of Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence"
  • Editor di Volume for “22nd International Conference Information Visualisation, IV” 2018", Fisciano, Italy, July 10-13, 2018
  • Guest Editor for the Special Issue “Network Analysis and Computational Social Science: Theory, Methods, Applications, Future Perspectives"
  • Editorial board member of “AI Journal"
  • Organizer of 13th “Conference on Security and Cryptography for Networks (SCN 2022)". September 12-14, 2022, Amalfi (SA), Italy
  • CHAIR for “CSoNet2021". November 15-17, 2021, Montreal, Quebec
  • Organizer of 12th “Conference on Security and Cryptography for Networks (SCN 2020)". September 14-16, 2020, Amalfi (SA) Italy
  • CHAIR for “24 International Conference Information Visualisation (IV2020)". September 7-11, 2020, Victoria University, Australia & Technische Universitat Wien, Austria. Tracks: IV2020 SSNN – “Social Issues analysis and visualization in Online Social Networks”, and VIS2020-MuVis – “Music Visualization”
  • Organizer of “Sixteenth conference of Computability in Europe (CiE 2020)", Università degli Studi di Salerno. 29 Giugno - 3 Luglio 2020, Salerno, Italy