ComplexityCosts holds Close-Out Meeting


After more than four years of intensive research the SESAR WP-E project ComplexityCosts has finally concluded. Project partners from the University of Westminster and Innaxis gathered with experts at the EUROCONTROL Experimental Centre in Brétigny-sur-Orge, France in early October to discuss the project results and close the research activities.

The ComplexityCosts study focused on the trade-offs between several disturbances and mechanisms from a passenger and stakeholder’s costs perspective. A major highlight of the project was the concept of resilience costs and further identifying a metric to effectively measure it.

The research continues on within the Horizon2020 DATASET2050 and SESAR LTER Vista projects, so stay tuned for further developments on mobility research.

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.



Innaxis farthest east: CHINA! 1st EU-US-Chinese symposium on CS in Air Transport


Between April 10 to 12, our Principal Researcher Massimiliano Zanin made a long trip. The objective: co-organise the first Chinese / EU / USA Symposium on Complexity Science in Air Transportation, which took place in the Beihang University, Beijing.

The event has been a success, including invited keynotes of leading researchers like Shlomo Havlin, of the Bar-Ilan University, and Mark Hansen of UC Berkeley. Noteworthy has also been the participation of the ComplexWorld network, through Andrew Cook (University of Westminster) and Fabrizio Lillo (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa).

As for Massimiliano, he presented an unconventional idea in his talk “The air transport vs. the human brain: two worlds apart?”: the human brain and the air transport are two systems not at all different, which can (and ought to) be studied using the same techniques drawn from statistical physics. By considering the air transport as an information processing system, the strategies used in neuroscience can seamlessly be adapted, in order to improve our knowledge of processes like delay propagations. This idea has been illustrated using several examples, drawn from some research works done in collaboration with Seddik Belkoura and Andrew Cook in the past two years.



More information about the event is available at:

Additionally, if reading Chinese is not a problem for you, you may be interested in the press release in the Beihang University website:

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!

Back from ComplexWorld 2015


Very successful ComplexWorld 2015 event, including the 3rd Data Science in Aviation Workshop in Brussels. Our team worked hard on this and it showed!

Thank you very much to everyone participating. We will post a report soon!















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!


Madrid, 25th to 27th of November, 2013

SESAR Long-term and Innovative Research, Work Package E, supports research activities that are not currently part of the ‘mainstream’ SESAR development work packages. The SESAR Innovation Days are the main forums for dissemination of WP-E results and for interaction with the wider ATM research community and industry representatives.

The fourth SESAR Innovation Days will take place in Madrid, Spain, from 25th to 27th November 2014. The event will be hosted by the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

Unlike any other scientific event in ATM research, the SESAR Innovation Days focus explicitly on long-term and innovative research. As well as presenting results of WP-E Networks, Projects and PhDs, the event also seeks contributions from the ATM research community through an open call. The submission deadline is 22nd September and notification of acceptance will be made by 23rd October. Download the Call for Contributions here

Further information on the event will be progressively available at:

For all enquiries please contact

Innaxis participation at the SIDs

The 4th SESAR Innovation Days (SIDs), organised by Eurocontrol and the SJU, are next week: this year taking place in Madrid! In 2014, Innaxis has been particularly busy in the Air Transport research field and, just as in previous editions, we will be especially active during the SIDs. With the goal of warming the different research areas, and sharing with you open opportunities, this post aims to give you a small briefing on how we are participating in this event:

– ATM Resilience workshop:  After more than two years of hard work, the Resilience2050 FP7 project, coordinated by Innaxis, is achieving interesting results. We will be happy to welcome there all those researchers interested in sharing outcomes about this fascinating research thread. It will be celebrated during SIDs day “0”, Monday 24th,  14:00-18:00, at SIDs´premises. Please contact Hector ( to expand this info.

– The SESAR-WPE ComplexWorld network has gone a long way in the last four years. Paula (, the network coordinator, will be delighted of providing details of the 2014 activities (Workshops, CWWiki, DataScience event) and future initiatives (Book publication, Conferences). Please, do not hesitate to talk to her if you are interested in the network

– At Innaxis we have been working on Passenger-Oriented Metrics for long, crafting tools to identify, compute and analyse those metrics focusing on the 4 hour door-to-door challenge of FlightPath2050. Challenge now present in all strategic agendas, including Horizon2020 and SESAR2020.  Given our role either leading or participating in key FP7, H2020 and SESAR projects, feel free to contact Samuel ( if interested in this topic!

– At the SIDs we will show a poster of the concept of Dynamic Cost Indexing (DCI) and its relation to the four-hour door-to-door objective using the CASSIOPEIA Agent Based Modelling (ABM) simulation platform. The CASSIOPEIA platform demonstrated high potential on a first SESAR WP-E project which, after completion, was awarded with an extension to continue further investigation and improvements. If you happen to be interested in the topic, please reach Alberto Blanch ( for details.

– We are very proud of our advancements in Data Science which has been a pivotal area at Innaxis during the last few years. In May we organised the second Data Science Workshop for Air Transport, which was held in Paris-EEC. Currently, we are working on different elements of an infrastructure to allow major data mining work for Air Transport on different fronts; from evaluating current delay propagation or resilience of airports and airlines against disturbances, to identifying new paradigms on safety monitoring, all of which is based on powerful data analytics. Both David ( or Hector ( will be happy to discuss about this topic.

– Innaxis, together with University of Westminster will present a paper based on their ComplexityCost SESAR project. The paper defines a framework to assess the cost of resilience during a disturbance. The framework allows performance assessment as a function of differential stakeholder uptake of strategic mechanisms designed to mitigate disturbance. Advanced metrics, cost- and non-cost-based, disaggregated by stakeholder sub-types, are also presented.

– Innaxis is leading a pioneering project on Secure Computation applied to Aviation. Our researcher Massimiliano ( leads the SESAR project: “SecureDataCloud”, or SDC, which will be presented during SIDs in several formats:

->  SDC Talk. In this talk, we are going to explain why and how Secure Multi-Party Computation techniques can be used to improve several air transport aspects, thanks to the ability of compute information in a secure way.

-> SDC is also planning to present a demonstrator. It will be composed of a set of laptops running a software framework performing a secure computation in real time: all SID participants will then be invited to play with the system and perform auctions!

-> Two SDC posters will be presented, describing the two Case Studies that are being developed in the project.

– Last, but not least, Seddik Belkoura ( will take part of the CW-Phd session. On his paper he analyses how the use of the average and standard deviation of delays may provide incomplete intelligence to assess air transport system performance and evolution. Also, the alternative proposed way to look at delays naturally explains its heavy tailed nature without the need of emergent phenomena.

We hope you find our activities interesting and motivating while bringing you new interacting opportunities.

See you soon in Madrid!


SESAR Newsletter features Innaxis in Long Term and Exploratory Resarch

The fall publication of the SESAR Magazine has been posted on the SESAR website! For the first time, this edition is fully dedicated to the Long Term and Exploratory Research programme and highlights some examples of successful projects and networks developed under this framework. Included in this feature is Innaxis and its coordination of the ComplexWorld Network; illustrating the high visibility of the Network’s activities within this programme largely due to the results achieved.

Innaxis has been involved in two of the projects selected for publication: CASSIOPEIA and POEM. Innaxis coordinates the CASSIOPEIA project, which aims to develop a theoretical framework and a demonstrative software platform that increases the understanding of the cause-effect relationships between Air Traffic performance drivers and performance indicators.  POEM, or the Passenger-Oriented Enhanced Metrics project, is led by the University of Westminster in partnership with Innaxis. POEM establishes a new passenger-centred performance framework and simulation model for air transport. Additionally, POEM was awarded with one of the two “Most Outstanding SESAR Project” prizes during the SESAR Award ceremony in 2014.

Innaxis also coordinates the ComplexWorld network which addresses how complexity science can contribute to understand, model, and ultimately drive and optimise thebehaviour and the evolution of the ATM system that emerges from the complex relationships between its different elements. ComplexWorld has also succeeded in the development of a solid and open research community, the ComplexWorld Wiki, which builds together a common knowledge platform of the field.

We encourage members of the ComplexWorld network and those unfamiliar with the activities of Innaxis to read the SESAR magazine. This edition has great information on the SESAR Long Term and Exploratory Research programme, which will shape many research projects in the future.

ECCS’14 Satellite Event

ECCS’14 will be a major international conference and event in the area of complex systems and interdisciplinary science in general. It will offer unique opportunities to study novel scientific approaches in a multitude of application areas.

The ComplexWorld Network ECCS Satellite Meeting: Complexity Science and Transport Systems

[success] PROGRAMME NOW AVAILABLE [/success]

Following the events organised at the ECCS ’11 in Vienna, ECCS ’12 in Brussels and ECCS ’13 in Barcelona, we’re announcing the Call for Papers for a half-day Satellite Meeting in Lucca. The aim of this Satellite Meeting is to create a space for exchanging state-of-the-art results and ideas about (i) how different Complex Systems tools such as complex networks, percolation theory, self-organized criticality or agent based modeling can be used to understand the internal dynamics of transportation systems, (ii) how to model the relationships between different transportation modes, and (iii) how to improve efficiency and performance of such systems.

The intended audience of this Satellite Meeting is twofold. On one hand, it consists of researchers from the field of Complexity Science, which are expected give insight on the application of complex system tools and concepts to transportation systems. On the other hand, researchers specialised in Transportation systems will be encouraged to attend in order to give their contribution and see how such systems can be investigated with methodologies which are not currently recognized as mainstream. The main success of the meeting will be to foster an interdisciplinary forum of discussion between the two research communities.

A non-exhaustive list of topics includes:

– Topological properties of transportation systems, and the relations between topology and efficiency / resilience / propagation of disturbances.

– Dynamics of and on transportation systems: from movements of persons and goods, up to diseases and information spreading mechanisms.

– Emerging behaviors and critical phase transitions in transportation systems.

– Applications of multi-layer and time-varying network representations, statistically validated networks and community detection algorithms.

The Call for Papers

Information regarding the Call for Papers can be found here.

The Programme and Venue

The full programme and short abstracts can be downloaded here. It will take place on Thursday, the 25th of September, at SALA DEI SERVI (SAN MICHELETTO)

The Organisers

This Satellite Meeting is organized by the following researchers, who also serve as contact points for anyone interested in knowing more about the meeting:

Fabrizio Lillo
Scuola Normale Superiore
Piazza dei Cavalieri 7
56126 Pisa 
Phone: +39 050509159

Salvatore Miccichè
Dipartimento di Fisica e Chimica
Universita degli Studi di Palermo

Viale delle Scienze, Ed. 18
I-90128 Palermo Italia
Phone: +39 091 23899145

Massimiliano Zanin
The INNAXIS Foundation & Research Institute
José Ortega y Gasset 20, planta 6.
28006 Madrid (Spain)
Phone: +34 902 955 527

The Programme Committee

The Program Committee is composed of 4 persons well known and respected in either or both Complex Systems research and transport industry, as follows:

  • Marc Barthelemy, CEA, France
  • Rosario Mantegna, Università di Palermo, Italy
  • David Pérez, The INNAXIS Foundation & Research Institute, Spain.
  • Aura Reggiani, Universita’ di Bologna, Italy.

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