Blockchain and other data science applications for aviation digitalization

For the 5th consecutive year, Innaxis organized the Data Science in Aviation Workshop with much positive feedback. This 2017 edition took place last September at EASA HQ in Cologne, Germany, sponsored by the project.

This series of annual workshops was created in 2013 to promote data science techniques applied to the aviation field. Initially, this was a breakthrough idea as data analytic initiatives in the sector were very scarce. On the other hand, the potential benefit of applying these techniques to aviation, with relatively limited investment, greatly supported the effort of pushing this paradigm shift. Now, only 5 years later, the number of ongoing initiatives of data science applications in the aviation sector has continuously increased; demonstrating that the effort was really worth it.

Data has become the key driver of change all across aviation: from maintenance to training, from fuel efficiency to safety. There are on-going examples, with different levels of maturity, in nearly every layer of the aviation sector. This ranges from manufacturing to operations, both from the industry as well as the academia. The last DSIAW brought together this wide variety. Knowledge discovery and Data Mining (KDD) will be, is currently being, a key enabler of the digitalization of our industry.

The entire Horizon2020 transport research programme is driven by the overall objective of making “European transport greener, safer, more efficient and innovative“. These challenges were precisely the 4 pillars of the 2017 DSIAW, showing how data can play a key role in achieving them through the application of data science (DS) techniques. The presentations were distributed among these 4 sessions: DS4Environment, DS4Safety, DS4Predictability and innovative DS techniques and supporting tools, illustrating the audience with these initiatives:

DS4Environment: While the development of greener technologies (engines, aerostructures, components, etc) require several coordinated initiatives, data science offers cost-effective solutions based on real figures of fuel burnt and noise pollution. Applying data analytics techniques to these datasets enhances our knowledge of fuel consumption and noise emission patterns, which supports efficient resource use, thus resulting in a emissions reduction to minimize environmental impact. For this theme, Boeing Global Services – Fuel Dashboard solution and the Technical University of Madrid initiatives related to environmental and noise emissions studies.

DS4Safety: The aviation sector’s requirement for high safety levels has always been the main reason to avoid ‘radical’ changes in this industry or, at least, follow a very slow adoption path. Nevertheless, aviation safety has recently become a pioneering area in data science applications. We can’t neglect to mention the significant challenges in this line of research, such as data protection, data merging, pattern detection in rare events, secure data infrastructures, etc, but nonetheless there are very promising initiatives such as: the SafeClouds project coordinated by Innaxis, the EASA Data4Safety programme, or the activities from SafetyData in NLP applied to Occurrence Reports. All projects were presented at the workshop.

DS4Predictability: In air transportation, efficiency is very linked to predictability, and predictability in turn, is highly dependent on data. Improving predictability reduces uncertainty which avoids losses and enables a more efficient aviation system from reducing delays to predicting systems failures. Ongoing studies, such as those presented by the University of Westminster or Atos, are good examples on how data can provoke a deep transformation of common airline procedures, like disruption management or maintenance scheduling.

DS techniques and supporting tools: Different KDD application techniques require appropriate infrastructures as well as supporting techniques that ensure various requirements are met. This includes: data protection, security, computation efficiency, flexibility, scability, etc. During this last workshop, we learned from the Eurocontrol experience in using cloud-based infrastructures. We also learned about the Innaxis spin-off, TADOREA, which shared knowledge on crypto-economics as a potential solution for enabling secure data analytics, while maintaining data privacy.

Still not convinced? Wanting to learn more? Visit the event page to watch the presentations and videos.

ComplexWorld: Linking Complexity and Data Science in ATM


This year we celebrated the 5th anniversary of ComplexWorld. As we reflect over the years to 2011, when Innaxis first launched the network, it’s easy to find many reasons to feel proud and grateful of our partners and participants of the network. ComplexWorld emerged from the idea of applying complexity science techniques to better understand the Air Traffic Management behaviour and the relationships among its different agents. At the network’s inception, it was considered a new and unfamiliar concept, but promising nonetheless. Now the concept has become a reality, after fruitful 5 years of ComplexWorld network development, along with 8 PhDs and 10 projects. The number of references in the field has increased significantly since 2011. To illustrate, the first graph below shows the growth of the number of papers published including the text “air transport” and “complex networks” since 2005. The second graph represents the number of those papers corresponding citations. (Data source: Thomson Reuters’ Web of Science)



In order to provide some direction to the purpose of the ComplexWorld network and specifically, the analysis of the air transport network as a complex system, the ComplexWorld partners Innaxis, University of Seville, University of Westminster, University of Palermo, along with NLR and DLR, identified 5 research challenges in which complexity science could provide a completely new perspective and deeper understanding of system performance. Those challenges include: resilience, metrics, emergent behaviour, data science and uncertainty, which have been our research pillars for the ComplexWorld network; enabling significant progress in those fields, previously insignificantly addressed by traditional and classical models. This the nexus of complexity science and air traffic management has garnered so much attention that soon a book will be released for the public, published under the title, “Complexity Science in air traffic management”. If you cannot wait to have it on your hands, you are in luck! The book is now available on Amazon.

Through the evolution of research within these five pillars, a key insight emerged that drove a conviction: data science was not merely one of the five pillars, but rather the key pillar that would foster the most significant and efficient progress within the other four areas. However, the aviation sector was not fully prepared to move forward quickly with the application of data science techniques as challenges related to data confidentiality, data sharing, and lack of appropriate data management infrastructures presented barriers for advancement. Therefore, with the objective of eliminating or reducing these barriers, in 2013 ComplexWorld organized the first Data Science in Aviation Workshop (DSIAW). The aim was to bring together aviation stakeholders willing to extract knowledge from their available data, with data scientists and experts from other sectors assisting by demonstrating the potential of data science with real examples of ongoing initiatives and recent work. The event was a complete success in terms of invited speaker expertise, but more importantly, the event was outstanding in terms of audience engagement, so much so that DSIAW has became an annual workshop thanks to the support of Eurocontrol and the SJU.

Year after year we have enthusiastically worked to bring relevant experts together to present their work on the application of data science techniques to enable an improvement on their business performance. Furthermore, we feel this sector is moving in the right direction as we see the number of success cases in this sector grow significantly. This year, we are organizing the 4th edition of the DSIAW, which will be celebrated September 8th and 9th at EASA HQ in Cologne. The workshop will be opened by Mr. Luc Tytgat, EASA Strategy and Safety Management Director, and will include presentations about different data science applications, including:

  • Air navigation (UK NATS and Eurocontrol-MUAC),
  • Aviation safety (Innaxis and AESA – Spanish Aviation Safety Agency),
  • Mobility (Boeing and Innaxis)
  • Infrastructure and visualization (Fraunhofer ITWM and ENAC)

Registration is now open so you are invited to join us and participate in the debates. At DSIAW you will also have the opportunity of attending the presentation of the “Complexity Challenges” report, a report in which we have developed in the framework of SESAR Exploratory Research along with 18 external experts who have provided their assessment on how the complexity challenges have been addressed by the different ComplexWorld related activities within these last five years, and the existing gaps and opportunities for future research in the field. We highly encourage you to attend this 1.5 days event and to be an active part of the definition of future research lines in the field of complexity in air transport. If you cannot attend, videos of the event will be uploaded to our vimeo channel and wiki, where you will catch some of the unprecedented conversations and become an active participant in the dialogues.



Mainstream economics are not delivering what humanity needs

Innaxis at the XIII International Colloquium of the World Academy of Arts and Science (WAAS)

Lisbon 11th -13th May 2016


WAAS members where invited during a three day conference at the Lisbon School of Economics and Management to discuss “Post 2008 Global Dynamics and Structural Changes: Economic, Political and Eco-Societal Transitions”.

The international financial crisis in 2008 sparked a plea for systemic paradigm shift regarding the orientation of policies of economic management. The request amongst decision makers and international organizations for profound changes in our economic system have unfortunately only been very short-lived.

Instead a “business as usual” agenda has been put in place driven by unquestioned mainstream economic theories.

However the present interconnected crises of unemployment, growing inequality and environmental destruction (just to name some of them) show that these challenges are not correctly addressed by the current dominant framework of economic thought.

In light of these developments, the aim of the meeting was to discuss the future of “Economics” as a science, its inherent shortfalls and usefulness.

The participants of the colloquium examined the changes since the period in which most prevalent economic concepts were formulated and assessed their relevance to the radical changes that have transformed economic activity since then.

Carlos Alvarez Pereira President of Innaxis, presented at the Colloquia « Towards a Society of Living » the vision of a new work programme currently under development at Innaxis. In his presentation he explored the shortcomings of our current understanding of economics and the gridlocks that prevent us from transforming our societies. In addition, he stressed that the transformation paths have to go beyond narratives based on technology-driven solutions, which are currently, in times of rapid digitalization, very appealing but insufficient or even misleading. He proposed pathways for reformulating economics as part of a larger, complex societal-scale system which addresses human needs in harmony with nature.

During the meeting WAAS members decided to produce a new academic curriculum for students, based on alternative economic theories including human-centered, value-based, ecologically sustainable economic thinking.




Innaxis at SIDs 2015

Every year we are excited to participate in the SESAR Innovation Days (SIDs) 2015, organised by Eurocontrol and the SJU, which will take place this year in Bologna, Italy. In 2015, Innaxis has been particularly busy in long term aviation research and as in previous SIDs, we will be continue to be especially engaged during the event. We look forward to discussing many innovative research topics and provide an update on Innaxis’ efforts. These include:


  • The ComplexWorld network has greatly evolved within the last five years. On the first day of SIDs, the network coordinator, Paula Lopez, will present an overview of the ComplexWorld evolution since it was launched with special emphasis on the key 2015 outcomes and 2016 initiatives. Please feel free to reach out to Paula ( if you are interested in obtaining more information on the network activities.
  • At Innaxis we have been working on new air transport metrics and indicators for the last few years. We have been crafting a tool to compute those metrics against real traffic data along with advanced visual tools to help understand these complex metrics. On the day before SIDs officially commences, Monday Nov. 30, we will be hosting a workshop on air transport resilience metrics: The 2015 Resilience2050 Workshop. Additional information along with free registration can be found here. Please contact Hector Ureta ( for further information on the workshop and/or resilience research.
  • The EC four hour door-to-door challenge warrants more effort to bring everyone on the same page. Building new modelling tools, metrics and data analysis capabilities will help to understand how we may achieve this goal. Innaxis has strong expertise within Mobility, with coordination efforts in the Horizon 2020 Coordination and Support Action DataSET 2050, along with the most recent SESAR-CASSIOPEIA agent-based modelling framework. These research initiatives may be of interest to you if you are working with mobility. Please do not hesitate to contact our architect of mobility tools for ATM, Samuel Cristóbal ( and Jorge Martin ( who will be at the conference.
  • Exploring trade-offs between different stakeholders has always been one of the main research priorities within Innaxis. For this particular SIDs Innaxis has liaised with the University of Westminster and Belgocontrol to present the paper “Controller time and delay costs -a trade-off analysis”. The paper will be presented within the technical sessions of the SIDs.
  • Data Science has also been an area of major interest at Innaxis over the last few years. We are working on different elements of a big data / data science infrastructure to enable major data mining efforts within Air Transport, including: current delay propagation evaluations, airport and airline resilience against disturbances, and an evaluation on new paradigms for safety monitoring, all of which is contingent on powerful deep analytics. We have advanced very far in this area, for which we are very proud. Our colleague Massimiliano Zanin will be at the conference and can speak to these efforts. Feel free to contact him at
  • In addition, complex network theory has also been prioritised within Innaxis’s research efforts and has been increasingly used to study the air transport system by defining static or dynamic structures to characterise how airports are connected. Our ComplexWorld PhD student, Seddik Belkoura, will present a poster entitled “A young person’s guide to the reconstruction of air transport networks” depicting how the sampling processes intervening in the construction of such structures can affect the topological stability of the final system’s representation. Please, contact him if this is of your interest (
  • Information Management has also been an area of interest for us. In particular, we think Data Science paradigms can only be fully enabled if data is transparently shared across stakeholders, which can only be achieved with the right secure and encrypted mechanisms are put in place. Related to this, the Innaxis team will present a talk about the main results of the SecureDataCloud project. Again, please reach out to Massimiliano Zanin should this be your area of interest.
  • Last, but not least, we will also serve as SIDs rapporteurs and help Eurocontrol extract some conclusions as well as provide our own views on future research avenues. Carlos Alvarez will lead this during the closing session. Please, contact Carlos ( if you’d like to continue the conversation!


We hope we have many opportunities to interact next week and hope you find our activities interesting and motivating for future initiatives.
See you soon in Bologna!

“Summerizing” the science

In the last few months, we have been busy at presenting the results of our research work at different conferences. For those of you that could not attend, here you have a short review!

First, several people from Innaxis attended the ECTL / FAA ATM Seminar 2015, in Lisbon, Portugal.

Seddik Belkoura presented a computational framework that compares flight trajectories (planned and executed) to detect all delay-generating events, and that can be used as a tool to identify the causes of non ATFM delay across any en-route system with the appropriate data. This algorithm extracts the probability distribution of the magnitude of a delay caused by one event per flight. From this, it has been possible to show the independence between the amplitude of en-route delay generated by a single event and the global delay of a flight. Additionally, a temporal and spatial assessment of the resilience of the en-route system to delay generation have been provided, which might lead to the identification of spatial zones that generates more delay, hence more fuel consumption, and to new tactical trajectory planification based on each ANS efficiency regarding en-delay recovery.

Additionally, Massimiliano Zanin gave a talk synthesising the results obtained in the POEM project, which we finished one year ago, and that was selected as one of the SESAR “Oustanding Projects” in 2014. We also had new results not presented until now. The focus of the talk was on the potential benefits of using a complex network approach to model the process of delay propagation. By using simple theoretical models, like a percolation process, it is possible to simulate different strategies for limiting delay propagation: all of this without extremely costly simulations, but just using known analytical results of network theory!

Both papers, Seddik’s and MZ’ ones, can be downloaded from the website of the conference.

The week after the ATM Seminar, MZ traveled to New York city, presenting the latest developments of the SecureDataCloud project at the IEEE SERVICES ’15. Impressive conference, with hundreds of attendees, and keynote talks from people of the level of Tsengdar J. Lee (NASA), Eric Brewer (Google) and Guruduth Banavar (IBM Research). In this case, the presentation had a much more applied flavour: describing the development of the software libraries for performing the secure computation, as required by the project and by the specifications suggested by the advising stakeholders. The development of the full system will be described in a paper, now under consideration, that we trust will be published shortly – so, stay tuned!

This is just a short abstract of the topics covered. So, if you need to know more, please contact the authors – and

Visual Communication Specialist position at Innaxis

Innaxis is seeking a Visual Communication Specialist to join its research and development team in a variety of projects. As a member of the team, you are joining a very interdisciplinary group of researchers, scientists, mathematicians and engineers that work for private companies and public institutions on solving the most challenging problems, ensuring their work is properly communicated through documents, digital media (including websites, video, presentations), events and potentially other communications means.

A mixture of creativity and technical skills are required to complement the skill set of a team that has worked in the last 5 years achieving landmarks in terms of network performance analyses across different areas. The ideal candidate has a passion for developing our brand image, through documents, conceptual graphics, video, presentations, web sites and data visualisation projects, perhaps beyond his/her areas of expertise, by coordinating with third party support as needed.

Requirements are as follows:

  • Degree or education on Fine Arts, Communication or a technical education degree with emphasis on aesthetics, like Architecture.
  • Solid design and conceptual representation skills.
  • Tastefulness and artful conception of data visualization and infographics.
  • An existing portfolio would be appreciated and positively evaluated.
  • Passion for data visualisation on top of current thinking and trends would be appreciated.
  • Fluency in English: it is the working language at Innaxis!

Technical skills that may be relevant in the evaluation:

  • Web publishing and web editing technologies: WordPress, HTML, CSS3.
  • Proficiency in documents editing and graphic tools.
  • Any visualisation technologies experience or interests are appreciated.
  • Video editing knowledge is a plus
  • Some extent of analytical thinking (e.g. programming skills, mathematical language, basic physics understanding) would also be a plus

Interested candidates should send their detailed CV and relevant information to

Data Scientist position at Innaxis

Innaxis is seeking a Data Scientist to join its research and development team in aviation projects. As a member of the team, you are joining a very interdisciplinary group of researchers, scientists, mathematicians and engineers that work for private companies and public institutions on solving the most challenging problems and get the most out of their data.

A mixture of creativity and technical skills are required to complement the skill set of a team that has worked in the last 5 years achieving landmarks in terms of network performance analyses across different areas within the aviation sector.

We are looking for a talented individual to help the team to complement the existing research threads on machine learning and data mining, to provide new insights on the performance of complex systems and enable the real time analysis of complex phenomena. Being part of our team will mean to cooperate with other skilled researchers currently focused on knowledge discovery, data engineers and visualisation experts.
Requirements are as follows:

  • Degree on Computer Science or similar (mathematics, physics) with outstanding background and experience in programming.
  • Experience on collection and preparation of datasets for machine learning exercises.
  • Understanding of general architectures and tools for machine learning, from validation to (automatic) feature selection.
  • Fluency in English: it is the working language at Innaxis!

Technical skills that may be relevant in the evaluation:

  • Understanding of the theoretical and implementation approaches for standard data mining models and algorithms, from SVMs to deep learning techniques based on Deep Neural Networks, as well as their combination.
  • Basic knowledge of database technologies and use: MySQL, MongoDB, JQuery.
  • Any programming language is a plus: both general (Python, C, Matlab) and data analysis oriented (Weka, R) …

We offer:

  • Immediate start within a highly qualified and collaborative international team with innovative thinking and working methodology focused on the development of large scale research and innovation projects.
  • Interesting salary as a function of skills, experience and education.
  • Flexibility and good working conditions

Interested candidates should send their detailed CV and relevant information to

Big Data Engineer position at Innaxis

Innaxis is seeking a Big Data Engineer to join its research and development team. As a member of the team, you are joining a very interdisciplinary group of researchers, scientists and engineers that work for private companies and public institutions on solving the most challenging problems and get the most out of their data. A mixture of creativity and technical skills are required to complement the skill set of a team that has worked in the last 5 years achieving landmarks in terms of network performance across different areas within the aviation sector.

We are looking for a talented individual to help the team to complement the existing research threads on engineering infrastructures to support data mining against large datasets. Your role within the team will be to design, test and implement state-of-the-art information acquisition systems of existing data sources within the aviation sector. This data will be further analysed in search for insightful patterns and ultimately knowledge discovery. The acquisition systems developed should also be cost-efficient, reliable and in compliance with our data providers privacy directives.

Requirements are as follows:

  • Degree or MSc on Computer Science with outstanding background and experience in programming and systems management.
  • Strong interest for Amazon cloud-based solutions, specifically EC2, EBS, RDS and IAM.
  • Strong interest for databases design and management, including SQL and NoSQL solutions and ecosystems.
  • Enthusiasm for software design and testing methodologies
  •  Fluency in English: it is the working language at Innaxis!

Technical skills that may be relevant in the evaluation:

  • Knowledge of database technologies and use: MySQL, MongoDB, JQuery
  • Proficiency in at least one programming language: Python, Perl, R, C++
  • Understanding of data mining algorithms: KDD, support vector machines, etc.

We offer:

  • Immediate start within a highly qualified and collaborative international team with innovative thinking and working methodology focused on the development of large scale research and innovation projects.
  • Interesting salary as a function of skills, experience and education.
  • Flexibility and excellent working conditions.

Interested candidates should send their detailed CV, a research interest letter and any relevant information to

SIDs 2014 from a PhD perspective


The Fourth SESAR Innovation Days event was held last week, 24th-27th November, at the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (UPM), Spain. Several members of Innaxis team were part of the event’s agenda, as announced in this blog post. In particular, the current post has been written by Seddik Belkoura, the new PhD on Data Science in Aviation of UPM-Innaxis, who gave a talk during the PhD session of ComplexWorld and presented a poster on his research.

Seddik_FG-SIDspicSeddik Belkoura explaining his research on ATM delays to Florian Guillermet (Executive Director SJU)

One of my first impressions about Innaxis is the out-of-the-box and innovative way of thinking that characterizes each and everyone of the team. I must proudly say that I noticed this fact during my first experience at the SESAR Innovation Day event because of the innovative ideas that were presented both by my colleagues and also by the researchers usually linked to Innaxis as partners of the projects. I really enjoyed the three days brilliantly organized by Eurocontrol with the local support of the UPM, which gathered around 300 participants from various backgrounds. This large crowd of participants involved a lot of people interconnecting: old friends, new friends, colleagues, project partners, PhD students, noticeable professors, brilliant young researchers, motivated ATM students, key European institutions representatives, projects officers, operational people, industry … and myself, a new PhD student without industry connections and an unusual background.

During my first six months at Innaxis, I have learned that Air Traffic is a very rich field of study that is tackled from a large number of angles. Complex System theory, Data Science, Econometry, Neuroscience and Human Cognition are examples of the frameworks under which ATM (Air Traffic Management) was analyzed during SESAR Innovation Days. Moreover, ATM in itself contains a large amount of research fields (Delays, Metrics, Complex Networks, Agent-Based Modelling, Visualization, Resilience) that have been examined by Innaxis and its partners during these three days.

With such a wide variety of fields, I found myself wondering why my presentation on my particular mathematical view on delays metric would interest any of the people in attendance. At the end of the presentation, people started to ask me constructive questions about my work, despite coming from very different fields than my own, making me realize that research is all about curiosity and exchange. It is about taking techniques and ideas from other fields and applying it to ATM, it is about brainstorming with colleagues from other fields, backgrounds or countries to push together in the same direction. Of course, I also realized that one idea, as innovative as it might be, has to result in applicable outcomes to be supported by stakeholder and politicians. It was in that moment that I felt a great respect for Innaxis and all the partners that have manage to make people believe and support those out-of-the-box ideas.

At the end of the event I left with a pocket filled with new contacts from all areas with the prospective of having future interesting exchanges, with clear ideas about the internal functioning of the research environment. I’m full of confidence about our ability to understand and improve the ATM system and really proud to be a representative of Innaxis leadership in the ATM research.

Thank you all of you for such an interesting and fruitful event, and see you next year in Bologna, during the SIDs 2015!

POEM Project awarded by SESAR JU

The Passenger-Oriented Enhanced Metrics (POEM) project, led by the University of Westminster in partnership with Innaxis establishes a new passenger-centred performance framework and simulation model for air transport. The model allowed the exploration of novel flight and passenger prioritisation scenarios whilst the performance framework allowed the analysis of different trade-offs between the flight-centric and passenger-centric metrics. Furthermore, using novel techniques of data science analysis, the project shed light on delay propagation through the network and made clear the very different roles that some elements of the air transportation system play from the passenger perspective, as compared with the more usual flight performance perspective.

This performance framework is especially relevant in the context of the 4 hours door-to-door performance goals envisioned by FlightPath2050 and core to the technological developments in air transport for the next decade.

POEM received one of only two “Oustanding Project” awards from SESAR, judged by a jury composed of SESAR JU members, including industry and ANSP representatives. The prize was presented during the 2014 SESAR Awards Ceremony, which took place alongside the 2014 World ATM Congress in Madrid, 3-6 March. This prize recognised the excellence of the project and its novel contributions to SESAR, as highlighted by Mr Claude Chêne, Executive Director of the SESAR Joint Undertaking, who presented the prize to Andrew Cook, coordinator of the POEM consortium.

Innaxis is very proud of POEM for its significant contribution to passenger-centricity and complexity science, a completely novel approach in air transport research.

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