The project

The project

ComplexWorld is a Research Network that was created to lead the long term research needs of SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research), one of the European Commission’s most ambitious research and development projects. SESAR is a results-driven initiative with the aim of meeting future air capacity and safety needs while building the European economy on strong foundations of knowledge, research and innovation.

Work Package E, the Long Term Research vehicle of SESAR, sets out to explore four areas of exploration, one of which is ‘Mastering Complex Systems Safely’. The ComplexWorld Network is specifically tasked with addressing this theme and with establishing how Complexity Science can contribute to understand, model, and ultimately drive and optimise the behaviour and the evolution of the ATM system that emerges from the complex relationships between its different elements. 

Objectives · Who we are · Work completed


As an open partnership between universities, research centers and industry, ComplexWorld’s objective is to:

 • Provide a structured forum for the development, exchange and dissemination of research knowledge in ATM Complexity Management

• Lower the barriers for the ATM community to have access to and benefit from Complex Systems science

• Attract talented Complex Systems researchers towards ATM.

• Foster the interaction andideas sharingbetweenthe Air Transport and the Complex Systems research communities

• Define, develop and maintain a clear roadmap for establishing and consolidating a research community at the intersection of Complexity and ATM of clear added value for the European Air Transport sector.

For further details on the Position Paper topics, visit the ComplexWorld Wiki.

Who we are

The ComplexWorld Network is led by the the Innaxis Foundation and Research Institute (Network Coordinator), the University of Seville, DLR, the Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR), the University of Palermo, and the University of Westminster. Additionally, iIt has a network of 70 plus participants. If you would like to join out network email us on


Athens University of Economics & Business – Research Center (AUEB)
Chinese University of Hong Kong
Ecole Nationale de l’Aviation Civile (ENAC)
École Polytechnique / Institut des Systèmes Complexes de Paris-Île de France
ETH Zurich
Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen Nurnberg
HCF – Human-Factors-Consult GmbH
Instituto Tecnologico del Valle de Morelia, Mexico
Kiev National Aviation University
Linkoping University
National Technical University of Athens (NTUA)
Polytechnical University of Madrid (UPM)
TU Braunschweig
TU of Catalonia
TU Darmstadt
TU Delft
TU Dresden
TU Harburg
Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
University of Belgrade
University of Catania
University of Hannover
University of Helsinki
University of L´Aquila
University of Leicester
University of Melbourne
University of Milano-Bicocca
University of Naples- Parthenope
University of Porto, LIACC/NIADR, TAP Portugal
University of Salzburg
Uppsala University
University Rey Juan Carlos
Vilnius University
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


Airspace Management Strategies Inc.
ALG Indra
Atos Origin
BluSky Services Group
Capgemini Sud
Deep Blue
DSE Consulting LTD
GMV Aerospace and Defence S.A.U
GMVIS Skysoft S.A.
Hafner Engineering, LLC
IDS Ingegneria Dei Sistemi S.p.A
Integrasys S.A.
ISI Foundation
Lufthansa Systems
NextGen AeroSciences, LLC
Research Executive Agency (REA)- European Commission
Roke Manor Research
Slot Consulting



Cool Timeline

October 8

ComplexWorld close-out

September 9

Cologne · Complexity Challenges in ATM

Presentation of the report on Complexity Challenges in ATM developed in collaboration with 18 external experts assessing on the future challenges for complexity research in ATM
September 8

Cologne · 4th DSIAW

Data Science in Aviation worskhop organized by CW at EASA HQ in Cologne with presentations from EASA, AESA (Spanish Safety Agency),, UK NATS, Eurocontrol MUAC, BRTE, Fraunhofer ITWM and ENAC
December 2

Bologna · 5th SESAR Innovation Days

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.
July 15

Lipari · ECCS Satellite event

ECCS’15 Satellite event organized by ComplexWorld on Complexity Science and Transportation Systems
April 8

Brussels · 3rd DSIAW

Annual Workshop on Data Science in Aviation with presentations from Eurocontrol-SWIM, Univ. Oxford (OpenSky Network), Innaxis, ATCO Barcelona, Pegasus Airlines, TU Munich and Simudyne
April 7

Brussels · Complexity Challenges and Opportunities in SESAR2020

Presenting the key outcomes of projects and PhDs in the field of complexity applied to ATM aimed at paving the way for further research in SESAR2020 framework
November 25

Madrid · 4th SESAR innovation days

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.
September 25

Lucca · ECCS’14 Satellite Event

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…
May 29

Istanbul · Tutorials session

Given by Massimiliano Zanin, Samuel Cristobal and Thomas Hauf.
May 28

Istanbul · Seminar on Complexity in Air Transport

Seminar organized jointly with ICRAT’14 on Socio-technical complexity and applications of data science in aviation.
May 21

Paris · 2nd DSIAW

2014 Data Science in Aviation Workshop with presentations from NATS, TU Munich, Eurocontrol, UPC and Univ. Anwerp
November 28

Stockholm · WS4: Complex Metrics in ATM

The main objective is to advance the contents of the ComplexWorld Position Paper.
November 26

Stockholm · 3rd SESAR Innovation Days

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.
October 15

Madrid · 1st Data Science in Aviation Workshop

The first of the annual workshop on Data Science in Aviation included presentations from Iberia, Eurocontrol-SWIM, Lufthansa Systems, EADS-IW, CERN and Synergic Partners.
September 20

Barcelona · WS3: Air Transport Network; an Integrated View

The main objective is to advance the contents of the ComplexWorld Position Paper. Read more.
September 18

Barcelona · ECCS’13 Satellite Event

ECCS’13 was a major international conference and event in the area of complex systems and interdisciplinary science in general.
July 11

Toulouse · 2nd ComplexWorld Tutorial Sessions

The selected topics of the event include areas such as: Uncertainty related to weather; Delay propagation; Machine learning and intermodality. Read more.
July 10

Toulouse · WS2: Resilience and Robustness in ATM

The workshop explored definitions, qualitative and quantitative evaluation (from a practical point of view) and modelling approaches to resilience and robustness in ATM. Read more.
May 27

Naples · WS1: Uncertainty in ATM; definitions, sources, scales, challenges

The objective was to obtain a critical review of the contents of the Section “Uncertainty on ATM” of the Position Paper by researchers and project managers with different points of views (industry, academia and institutions).
September 6

Barcelona · ECCS’12 Satellite Event

The objective of this meeting is to assess the problems of transportation systems through Complex Systems theory and methodologies.
June 21

1st Tutorials session

With keynote speakers such as: Armando Bazzani, Philippe Enaud, Juan MEsa, Paula M. de Brito and Banavar Shridar
June 20

Seminar on Complexity in Air Transport

Presentation of papers on Agent Based Modelling, Collaborative Decision Making and Complexity Bound Management.
September 15

ECCS Satellite event

ECCS satellite event organised by ComplexWorld on Complexity and the Future of Transportation Systems
July 6

First ComplexWorld Conference

1st Forum for Air Traffic Management scientists and PhD students, Complexity Science researchers and the ComplexWorld Network community, including Members and Participants and SESAR WP-E investigators.


Full repository of 2010-2016 events (Seminars, Workshops, Tutorials, Data Science Events etc), presentations and recordings too- at ComplexWorld wiki, here

For future events, check regularly the posts here, especially those with the hashtag #ComplexWorld

Complexity Projects

ComplexWorld related projects


Automating the Search for Hazards in Complex Systems

The project will work on a proof-of-concept technology that will enable future SESAR applications to automatically explore and safety check proposed changes to ATM scenarios.


Safety Management in Complex ATM System of Systems using ICT approaches

The project aims to identify combinations of events as they are happening and issue warnings to operators early enough to take action and prevent catastrophic failures.


Probabilistic Network Based Operations ATM

This project aims to improve the performance of the ATM system in the short term planning phase by developing new models and algorithms that enable to manage the factors that account for ATFM delay.


Empirically Grounded Agent-Based Models for the Future ATM scenario

ELSA will develop the methods and tools of the science of complex systems to analyse and model the dynamics of the new ATM system, especially concerning complexity, resilience, and safety.


Mathematical Approach towards Resilience Engineering in ATM

MAREA aims to develop a mathematical modelling and analysis approach towards the application of resilience engineering in ATM, and to demonstrate its usability through application to future scenarios


Passenger-Oriented Enhanced Metrics

The air transport industry is lacking passenger-centric metrics; its reporting is flight-centric. POEM will build an ECAC ATM model, combining flight and passenger trip data. 


Complex Adaptative Systems for Optimisation of Performance in ATM.

CASSIOPEIA proposes an innovative approach to ATM performance, especially well-suited to apprehend and manage the irreducible uncertainties which impact on ATM process


Network-Wide Effects of Inventive Operational Approaches in ATM

The project aims at exploring the potential network-wide benefits and/or adverse effects of the application of different local operational approaches in ATM.


In Search of Poweful Emergent Behaviour in ATM

EMERGIA project will identify potentially negative emergent behaviours and will improve the SESAR2020+ system architecture and design such that their emergent behaviours become positive.