ComplexEnergy White Paper Draft Now Available

The Innaxis Foundation & Research Institute along with CREATE-NET are pleased to publish a draft of the ComplexEnergy White Paper.

After many revisions and discussions, a first draft of the ComplexEnergy White Paper has become available. Members of the Expert Panel also contributed to the advancement of the White Paper and will continue to do so until the paper becomes finalised.

The White Paper is one of the deliverables for the ComplexEnergy initiative. The project, funded by the European Commission´s 7th Framework Programme, focusses on Complex Systems for an ICT-enabled Energy System. The activities of the project can be described as the following:

  • Bridge the gap between Complex Systems, ICT and Energy research communities.
  • Identify the potential of ICT-enabled energy modelling, control, and management solutions built on the results of Complex Systems Science.
  • Propose future FET initiatives at the junction of ICT, Energy and Complex Systems.
  • Magnification of the level of awareness, at European scale, of the potential impact of advanced ICT techniques implementing concepts and tools from Complex Systems research for the design and governance of the energy system.

The draft version of the White Paper can be found on the ComplexEnergy website here .  The draft is intended to stimulate discussion and comments from the public. Considering that the ComplexEnergy initiative is a crossover between the ICT, Energy, and Complex Systems disciplines, many professionals are sure to find the paper interesting.

Any type of feedback and comments are welcomed and can be sent to: innovation@innaxis.org .

ComplexEnergy holds first workshop

Innaxis & Create-Net bring together members of the Expert Panel in Venice.

The first workshop, held on the 13th and 14th of April in Venice, proved to be successful with great brainstorming focus sessions that discussed the project´s first White Paper.

The workshop commenced with an introduction of the members of Innaxis and Create-Net, and also a detailed introduction on the ComplexEnergy initiative. Afterwards, each member of the Expert Panel that was in attendance made a short presentation about their background and vision concerning the project.

Following the presentations, the rest of the workshop advanced around four different focus sessions:

  1. Energy-related issues, challenges, and potential impact
  2. Complex Systems Methodologies and Tools
  3. Role of Complex Systems in Smart Energy Systems
  4. Relevant Scientific Communities, Possible Topics and Impacts

These focus sessions help brainstorm thoughts and ideas concerning the first White Paper that will be delivered in August. The advancements made from the workshop will be integrated into the White Paper and will continue to be developed. It is expected to have fairly thorough draft version of the White Paper around the 30th of May.

If you´d like to contact us concerning ComplexEnergy, please email innovation@innaxis.org .

More information can be found through the ComplexEnergy website and blog.

ComplexWorld WP-E Network Proposal successfully submitted!

Innaxis along with: University of Seville, NLR, DLR, University of Westminster, and University of Palermo have successfully submitted a thorough proposal for a SESAR WP-E Network concentrated on the theme of ´Mastering Complex Systems Safely´.

The proposal has much interest- about 43 entities have registered to be participants of the network, with 25 of them being universities.

The proposal was submitted to the offices of Eurocontrol on the 8th of April, 2010. Any news received hereafter will be communicated to all members and participants.

If you´d like to get in touch with Innaxis concerning the WP-E proposal, you may email info@complexworld.eu . The website, www.ComplexWorld.eu will be continuously updated this week.

Innaxis contributes to additonal int’l congresses

The Innaxis research team has presented three more contributions to the scientific community about the connections between Complexity Science and Air Transportation Networks.

The first event was the FisEs ’09 congress on Statistical Physics, held in Huelva (Spain) on the 10th – 12th September 2009, and hosted by the group of Physics of Complex Liquids of the Universidad de Huelva. Two posters were accepted by this congress, the first of which was presented by Innaxis researcher Massimiliano Zanin and reported new results about modelling the aeronautical system by applying the concept of Scheduled Network. The second was an application of the celebrated GoogleLab’s PageRank algorithm to model the consequential effect of delays, and the study of importance of each airport from the point of view of the transmission of reactionary delays.

The third contribution was developed along with A. Vejar, of the CNRS, Nancy Université of France, and was presented in the European Conference on Complex Systems 2009 held in University of Warwick, UK, on 21-25 September 2009. Here, a new approach was studied. Instead of analysing the complex network created by a transportation system, an emergent graph was created by modelling the dynamics of customers and vehicles in a general fitness landscape. Such a model could help in understanding the mechanisms that lead to the creation of standard connection models, like point-to-point or hub-and-spoke structures, and in forecasting the evolution of a real transportation environment.

These three contributions touch upon how modelling the network in different ways can help make the overall transportation network more efficient, especially in regards to money, ecological consumption, and passenger satisfaction.

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Innaxis publishes two papers, initiates ComplexWorld.eu

External projects, internal projects, publishing papers, submitting proposals- This multi-tasking ability is part of the reason why Innaxis never finds a dull moment.  Even in the downtime that often occurs in European countries during the summer months, Innaxis has published two documents related to Complexity Science.

This multi-tasking achievement was deemed capable through the efforts of Massimiliano Zanin, Lucas Lacasa, and Miguel Cea. They have written ¨Dynamics in Scheduled Networks¨ which has been published in the interdisciplinary journal Chaos (http://chaos.aip.org). Chaos is a quarterly journal published by the American Institute of Physics devoted to increasing the understanding of nonlinear phenomena and describing the manifestations in a manner comprehensible to researchers from a broad spectrum of disciplines.

The paper will be published in the June 2009 edition and is already available online (Chaos-an Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science website). The paper explains how time restrictions are usually neglected when studying real or virtual systems through complex network theories, and a static structure is normally defined to characterize which node is connected to another. This approach seems to be oversimplified as real networks are indeed dynamically modified by external mechanisms.  The paper presents a scheduled network formalism that takes into account such dynamical modifications by including generic time restrictions in the structure.  Below is a paragraph taken from the paper explaining how scheduled networks can be used in an air traffic management scenario.

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The same team of people along with Samuel Cristobal has also published a contribution titled, ¨A Dynamical Model for the Air Transportation Network¨ which has been submitted and approved for  European Conference on Modelling and Simulation ’09. The publication will be discussed at the June 9-12 event in Madrid Spain under the category ¨Discrete Event Modelling and Simulation in Logistics, Transport and Supply Chains (LT) (http://www.scs-europe.net/conf/ecms2009/index.html).

In this contribution, Scheduled Networks are used as a framework for simulating the growth of virtual aeronautical networks. The basic assumption is that the cost for passengers should be minimized, which is approximated with the time needed to go from one airport to another one. Some results are presented, and the role and importance of hubs (that is, central airports where great part of the flights are concentrated) is discussed. Peer reviewing for both publications was done by F J Mancebo, founder of the Innaxis Foundation & Research Institute and longtime UPM (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid) mathematics professor in the Superior School of Aeronautics.

The papers recently published by the Innaxis group have further advanced the opportunities to expand the findings into different scenarios. Following the same direction, Innaxis will be launching ComplexWorld.eu, an initiative to foster and promote the study of system complexity in the field of air transport. More particularly, ComplexWord.eu will be a candidate network for the SESAR Long Term initiative (WP E). As Air Transport Networks are becoming more complex characterized by an increasing number of airspace users which inevitably brings indeterminacy and unpredictability to the behavior of the system that needs to be carefully studied, analyzed, modeled, simulated and understood. Although still in it´s preliminary phase, ComplexWorld.eu will promote a research plan on how to tackle these issues in the field of air traffic management, introducing the concept of complexity management in the context of the 4D Trajectory Management operational concept developed in SESAR.

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Derogations of an EU Regulation

Emissions Trading Scheme, Kyoto, cap and trade, Climate Exchange, law of demand- all have been mentioned under the hot topic of CO2 emissions and climate change policies. With all of the concern of global warming- it’s no surprise that countries are trying to ´go green´ now too.

In recent news, French EU Presidency has proposed a compromise designed to overcome opposition to EU climate plans from some of the heavy industries and newer member states. The French EU Presidency is asking for early identification of industries exposed to foreign competition and temporary exemptions from full CO2 permit auctioning for coal-dependent economies.

Some member states disagreed with the proposal. Poland’s secretary of state for European affairs, Mikolaj Dowgielewicz states, “The proposed measures open the door to the phenomenon of windfall profits for power companies. Our objective is not to create more profits for energy companies. Our objective is to protect consumers.”

CO2 emissions have long been a concern for production companies. At higher CO2-prices, companies are tempted to pass the costs down to the final consumer. However, when faced with a price increase, the consumer will demand less and substitute more. Production from the company will decrease, and imports of substitutes into the country will increase. This leads to a carbon emissions leak- another outcome that countries are trying to avoid.  However, in some industries such as the paper industry, this practice has already been banned. Emissions Trading Scheme costs cannot be passed down to the final consumer because of the heavy international competition.

Opinions concerning the trade of carbon emission permits have been wide-range. Some believe it’s an expensive bureaucratic solution to fix a problem that may not even exist, and others believe it’s a great policy to try to save the world from the global warming time bomb.

In either case many economists agree that a policy regulating carbon emissions, no matter how unorganized or unfair, is better than no-policy at all. Many countries have adapted their own plan under the international KYOTO plan, including the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme. The United States has yet to confirm to the KYOTO plan, but future president Obama has stated that some kind of environmental policy is in plan for the future.

The proposal calls for the European Commission to ‘rapidly’ produce figures that set a threshold to quantify the risk of certain industries becoming exposed to competition by third countries with less stringent CO2 reduction regimes. However, with the upcoming International negotiations towards the KYOTO Protocol to be finalised in Dec. 2009, the request may be viewed as a wrong signal.

Many countries rely on certain resources for over half of their power generation portfolio. For example, Poland relies on coal for 60% of their portfolio.

The economic and environmental plan of emissions trading is proving to be more complex than ever. It’s hard to bring the world, or even just a group of countries together to bring about a significant change. The complex system of CO2 trading and it’s effects on the economy is certainly one to pay attention to.

The Council, Commission and Parliament are due to continue this trialogue next Tuesday (25 November) to reach a deal to be agreed at the European Council on 17 December.

Everything you could say about Complexity… in a Wordle.

Sometimes understanding the concept of complexity science can be mind-boggling. Take for instance the definition of complex systems as taken from Wikipedia:

Complex systems is a scientific field which studies the common properties of systems considered complex in nature, society and science. It is also called complex systems theory, complexity science, study of complex systems, sciences of complexity, non-equilibrium physics, and historical physics. The key problems of such systems are difficulties with their formal modeling and simulation. From such perspective, in different research contexts complex systems are defined on the base of their different attributes. At present, the consensus related to one universal definition of complex system does not exist yet.

Besides actually having the word ´complex´ in the definition multiple times, the concept is quite hard to grasp.

Wordle is a toy for generating ¨word clouds¨from text that a user provides. The text can be streamed from a website, blog, speech, or from an inputted text. The application increases the size of the words that are most used. All of the independent words come together to emerge into a visual snapshot.

Considering that this application brings together independent words to create a holistic view of the article being discussed, it was interesting to see how Wordle visualized Innaxis´blog. It´s a way to simplify things in order to get the overall concept.

The end result is interesting. Below is what Wordle produced from the text used in this blog.

complexity-wordle

In an instant you can see how our view of complexity science involves many different independent topics. Interesting enough, complexity science itself is the study of how many different independent variables emerge to produce a holistic behaviour. With Wordle, the concept of complexity science is a bit easier to grasp when seen in a text cloud.

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European Commission’s SOS (Seminar on SESAR)

Eurocontrol has estimated that today’s air traffic will have doubled by 2020. Over the last decade air traffic has grown more than 50%, and Europe now has close to 8.5 million flights a year and up to 28,000 flights on busy days.

As these alarming figures will slowly become a reality, the EC has teamed up with Eurocontrol for the SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) initiative. SESAR was initiated in 2004 and parallels the same concept of United State’s NextGen plan. SESAR is primarily focused on flight safety, performance (punctuality), costs, and evaluation. As more CO2 is released into the atmosphere and the price of fuel rises, the need for a single European sky becomes evermore imperative.

The Definition phase was from 2004-2008 and was funded jointly by the European Commission and Eurocontrol. As this phase is wrapping up, a seminar was held to update all key players and to address new issues.

Some key individuals that attended this seminar includes: Peter Harman-President and CEO of KLM and chairman of AEA, Daniel Calleja- EC as Director DGTREN/F (Air Transport), David McMillan- Director General Eurocontrol, and Patrick Ky- Executive Director of SJU.

During the seminar, Peter Harman, President and CEO of KLM Airlines and chairman of the AEA address the issue of non-direct flights. He mentioned that yearly the simple Amsterdam-Lyon route means +400 hours of extra flight time and 1,8 MT of CO2 compared to the potential direct flight route.

Other issues that were discussed during the seminar included: An open SES to other countries such as Africa and Eastern European countries, transferring authority from ANSPs (Air Navigation Service Providers) to a European independent body, and also the need for an increase of performance monitoring for the management of airspace resources.

As the single European sky is a complex system in which a large number of independent elements show emergent behaviour, Innaxis is working to combine its knowledge of complexity science with the goals of SESAR. Innaxis is using a number of techniques- general analytic and simulation models for a statistical analysis of real data. There is optimism that these practices will be used in the evaluation of ATM performance.

Complexity Science: Where Science meets Ethics

As solutions such as launching sun-reflected mirrors into space become a consideration, the unforeseen consequences might be worse than the initial problem of global warming itself.

In a recent article by Cornelia Dean for The New York Times, she writes ¨This technology might be useful, even life-saving. But it would inevitably produce environmental effects impossible to predict and impossible to undo. ¨

Engineering ethics applies as well to technologies, especially with the amount of complexity involved, the potential effects may turn out to be unethical. In fact, some researchers and scientists are even considering holding a conference to discuss the possible effects of future technologies.

Taking a look at it from a complexity science point of view may prevent future technologies from entering ethically challenging territory.

Complexity science is a growing field of study used in a variety of areas. Transport systems, financial markets, biological processes- all can be studied from the angle of complexity science. All areas involve a large number of independent elements that when put in action or combined produces an emergent behaviour, some of which may be unpredictable or even cause chaotic evolution.

Analyzing the environmental effects from future technology developments might be useful from a holistic perspective. Applying complexity science methods to these considerable solutions may be a way to tell the future before actually taking the chance.

The problem is how to organize such a conference, as only one has been held in the past- the Asilomar conference in California to develop an ethical framework that still prevails in biotechnology.

Complexity Science may be of interest for upcoming Security Research Agenda

The European Commission has put forth a new Call for Proposals for Security Research under the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development.

In order to provide more detail about the new call for proposal, the Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry (DG ENTR) of the European Commission is holding an Information Day on 15 September 2008 in the Centre de Conférences Albert Borschette, Brussels.

The entire Security Research theme has an estimated €1.4 billion of funding over the duration of FP7.

The director of Innaxis, David Perez, will be attending this Information Day. The Innaxis Research Institute is interested seeing that several applications of complex systems analysis can be practiced in security research with great possibilities of success and is willing to join consortiums aiming to explore such applications .

The European Commission has emphasized the importance of security related research. It is said to be the building block for supporting European freedom, security, and justice. It also contributes to developing technologies and capabilities in support of other European Community policies in areas such as transport, civil protection, energy, environment, and health.

The new call for proposal will be published on September 4th, 2008. The Innaxis Research Institute hopes to contribute to the European Commission research programme with the knowledge of complexity science.

For more info please visit FP7 Security Info Day .

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