I thank my wife, Alayne Smith, for continuously helping me to succeed in personal and professional challenges. Her patience and understanding were essential to allow me to overcome the many obstacles encountered during the development of this project. The love and teachings given to me by my parents, Nelly and Francisco José, have been the greatest sources of support and inspiration for accomplishing my most valued contributions and aspirations. I thank my sister, Nelytza, and my nieces, Oriana and Valentina, for teaching me great lessons of personal strength, determination and compassion in the face of adversity.
Highly esteemed colleagues: Ana Dopazo, Haiying Wang, Huiru Zheng, Kenneth Bryan, Zhongming Zhao, Yves Moreau, Riccardo Bellazzi and Gary Fogel, enriched this project through the contribution of commentaries to accompany some of the chapters. I also thank them for their advice and corrections that allowed me to improve the content and presentation of this book.
I appreciate the support I have received from Fiona Woods and Izzy Canning, Project Editor and Publishing Assistant respectively, at John Wiley & Sons. I thank production staff at John Wiley & Sons for their assistance with book formatting and cover design. I also appreciate the help and advice from Andrea Baier during the early stages of this project. I thank Poirei Sanasam, at Thomson Digital, for management support during final production stage.
I thank all those colleagues and students, who ...