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Participatory Architectural Change MAnagement in ATM Systems (PACAS) is a Horizon 2020 project in the framework of the SESAR Research and Innovation Action (RIA).
Started in March 2016, PACAS will last 24 months.
The main objective is to better understand, model and analyse changes at different layers of the Air Traffic Management (ATM) system to support change management, while capturing how architectural and design choices influence the overall system. The project aims at developing an innovative participatory change management process wherein heterogeneous stakeholders actively participate in the architectural evolution of the ATM system.

Project pillars

The novelty and expected impact of PACAS relies on three main pillars: 1. Impact propagation techniques, 2. Gamified platform, 3. Domain-specific modelling languages. These are key components of the participatory design process wherein multiple, heterogeneous ATM domain stakeholders participate, each having a different view of the system, bi-directional relationships are in place between the strategic layers and the architecture layer, and the PACAS platform is crucial to establish and maintain consistency among the different layers and views.


Air Traffic Management primarily consists of three distinct activities: Air Traffic Control, Air Traffic Flow Management, Aeronautical Information Services.

It is the topic of discussion of the participatory change management process. A change issue is solved when change management process is finished for that particular topic.

A set of activities performed to change a system.

In each view only relevant concerns (related to the relative area of expertise) are considered and highlighted when architectural changes are introduced, and expressed with an adequate language of the domain.
See: Karsai et al. 2009

The use of game elements in non-gaming contexts in order to maximize the long-term engagement to the decision process. It employs game elements that provide adequate, valuable incentives and rewards when stakeholders help each other.

A hierarchy of goals, which represent desired state of affairs, suitable to model strategic concerns of the stakeholders they help refining high-level concerns into lower level more concrete pieces, in building the ‘why’ relationships between the higher and lower levels.

A model including several layers of abstraction of an ATM system e.g. architectural, strategic layer and different ATM sub-domains e.g. organisational (structure), security, and safety to tackle the complexity of the ATM system.

The output of the PACAS project, which consists in the change management process customized for ATM systems and the PACAS platform.

A gamified web-based software that supports the change management process in ATM systems.

High-level management bodies, regulators, policy makers and analysts of Navigation Service Providers and aviation and aeronautics industries, including safety, security and IT managers and air traffic controllers.

A co-management activity made by the end-to-end interaction and consultation between stakeholders, providing background, experience and know-how from her own sub-domain perspective, to ensure better and sustainable change management process.

Reasoning techniques: ad-hoc, strategic guided reasoning process helping to model the relations between layers and propagation of changes.


PACAS is expected to deliver the following outcomes:

Outcome #1: Participatory design process 

To develop a gamified participatory design process to support change management for the (re)design of European ATM Systems. The process will provide participants a semi-structured way of modelling, and a set of guidelines for open decision-making to include all participants in the modelling process. The process will be gamified to increase engagement of the participants. A proof-of-concept platform will be developed to assist the developed design process and include gamification elements.

Outcome #2: Multi-view modeling of ATM systems

To represent essential concepts for modelling ATM systems, to capture strategic objectives of the involved ATM domain stakeholders (safety, security, economic and organisational concerns) in dedicated views, emphasizing the Socio-Technical nature of ATM systems. Interdependencies between different levels of abstraction will be captured. The representation of possible changes and their impacts on other parts of ATM systems is also a main objective of the modelling language that will be created.

Outcome #3: Multi-objective trade off analysis techniques 

To develop reasoning techniques to support the analysis of strategic objectives (from multiple perspectives/views) and the interdependencies between the strategic and functional (operational, service, system) levels to preserve alignment between the two. This will require formalizing the links between the various views and the architectural components to determine the impact of changes from one to the other. Moreover, the consistency of the single views will be checked and the alignment of multiple views will be ensured through formal verification techniques.

Outcome #4: Results from validation with Advisory Board

To demonstrate and evaluate the practical use of the participatory design process and of the modelling and reasoning techniques. Reference scenarios will be created to validate the modelling languages developed, as well as qualitative and quantitative analysis techniques. The usability and the effectiveness of the modelling language will be validated by an external Advisory Board, composed of ATM domain stakeholders. Reasoning techniques, multi-objective optimization functions and automatically found optimal solutions are validated by the Advisory Board.

How to achieve them: Workplan

PACAS consists of six different work packages. Two of the work packages, namely WP1 “Project Management” and WP6 “Dissemination, Communication and Exploitation”, impact the project horizontally, which means that they contribute to the project outcomes during the entire project period. These are leaded by UNITN and DBL, respectively. Four work packages, namely WP2, WP3, WP4 and WP5 will be dedicated to technical tasks that must be carried out to deliver the PACAS platform:

  • WP2 “Participatory design for ATM architecture change management” will define a participatory design process that will rely on gamified platform to support the participatory change management process for ATM domain stakeholders. It is leaded by UUTR;
  • WP3 “Modelling concepts” is dedicated to the definition and the development of the modelling concepts used for the multi-view representation of different perspectives. It is leaded by SINTEF;
  • WP4 “Reasoning for change management” will deliver reasoning techniques used to analyse the different views. It is leaded by UNITN;
  • WP5 “Validation” will validate all technical components with the Advisory Board support in an integrated and iterative process starting since the early phases of the project. It is leaded by DBL.

WP Timeline



PACAS factsheet


Agon: An Acceptance Requirements Framework for Designing Gamification Solutions. To be brought to the ICT Days 2018 of the University of Trento.


Towards Aligning Models via NLP. Brought to the Research Day of the Computer Science Department of Utrecht University.


A Requirements Engineering Framework for Analyzing and Designing Acceptance through Gamification. Brought to the ICT Days 2017 of the University of Trento.


PACAS Change Management Process. Brought to the International Conference on Information Systems Security and Privacy (ICISSP) 2017.

EN — Gamification of the aviation sector ( — 6 September 2016
EN — Computer games – the key to managing IT restructuring? ( — 5 September 2016
EN — Air traffic management ( — 28 August 2016
EN — Air traffic management: a matter of participation ( — 16 March 2016

IT — Il controllo del traffico aereo ( — 28 August 2016
IT — UniTrento coordinerà il progetto PACAS per la gestione partecipativa del traffico aereo ( — 18 March 2016
IT — Aeroporti più sicuri, ci pensa l’Ateneo trentino (l’Adige) — 17 March 2016
IT — Trasporti, progetto Ue Pacas per gestire al meglio traffico aereo ( — 16 March 2016
IT — Gestione del traffico aereo: una questione di partecipazione (l’ — 16 March 2016

NO — Dataspill: Redningen for europeisk luftfart? (Flynytt) — 27 September 2016
NO — Dataspill som verktøy for it-endringer (Computerworld – — 13 September 2016
NO — Dataspill – en nøkkel til å håndtere IT-endringer? ( — 4 September 2016
NO — Kan dataspill hjelpe oss med å samarbeide? ( — 2 September 2016
NO — Kapasiteten i luftrommet er sprengt – nå skal ekspertene “spille” seg fram til en løsning (Teknisk Ukeblad – — 2 September 2016
NO — Dataspill skal hjelpe europeisk luftfart ( — 2 September 2016

Fabiano Dalpiaz, Ivor van der Schalk, Garm Lucassen (2018), Pinpointing Ambiguity and Incompleteness in Requirements Engineering via Information Visualization and NLP, in Requirements Engineering: Foundation for Software Quality, pp.119-135.
Luca Piras, Elda Paja, Paolo Giorgini, John Mylopoulos (2017), Goal Models for Acceptance Requirements Analysis and Gamification Design, 36th International Conference on Conceptual Modeling (ER), 2017, Valencia (Spain).
Fatma Başak Aydemir, Fabiano Dalpiaz (2017), Towards aligning multi-concern models via NLP, 7th Model-Driven Requirements Engineering (MoDRE) workshop, 2017, Lisbon (Portugal).
Luca Piras, Elda Paja, Roberta Cuel, Diego Ponte, Paolo Giorgini and John Mylopoulos (2017), Gamification Solutions for Software Acceptance: A Comparative Study of Requirements Engineering and Organizational Behavior Techniques, 11th IEEE International Conference on Research Challenges in Information Science (RCIS), 2017, Brighton, United Kingdom.
Eyvind Garder B. Gjertsen, Erlend Andreas Gjære, Maria Bartnes, Waldo Rocha Flores (2017), Gamification of Information Security Awareness and Training, Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Information Systems Security and Privacy – Volume 1: ICISSP, 59-70, 2017, Porto, Portugal.
Roberta Cuel, Diego Ponte, Giusi Orabona (2016), Changing complex socio-technical infrastructures: the case of Air Traffic Management, STS Italia Conference 2016.

PACAS tutorial, SESAR Innovation Days (SIDs), 28-30 November 2017, Belgrade (Serbia)
Goal Models for Acceptance Requirements Analysis and Gamification Design, ER 2017 International Conference on Conceptual Modeling, 7 November 2017, Valencia (Spain).
Towards aligning multi-concern models via NLP, 7th Model-Driven Requirements Engineering (MoDRE) workshop, 4 September 2017, Lisbon (Portugal).
Agon: an Acceptance Requirements Framework based on Gamification, FBK Software Engineering Seminars, 18 May 2017, Trento (Italy)
Gamification Solutions for Software Acceptance, IEEE International Conference on Research Challenges in Information Science (RCIS), 10-12 May 2017, Brighton (UK)
PACAS: A gamified and automated-reasoning solution for participatory change management in European ATM Systems, SESAR 2020 Exploratory Research: Human Factors supporting Automation in ATM at World ATM Congress, 9 March 2017, Madrid (Spain)
Security Requirements Engineering: Designing Secure Socio-Technical Systems, April-May 2016, North America-Europe
PACAS: the Elevator Pitch, PACAS kick-off meeting, 17 March 2016, Trento (Italy)


Paolo Giorgini
The Department of Information Engineering and Computer Science of Trento University covers the main topics of information technology and engineering, and raises a number of research and industrial projects. The research node TrentoRISE is the national reference point for start-ups in the ICT field.
Martina Ragosta
A research and consultancy SME specialised in user-centred design, human factor, safety, validation and scientific dissemination. Deep Blue operates in contexts with high security, dependability and resilience requirements, such as Air Traffic Management, Aviation, Railways and Healthcare.
Matthieu Branlat
Scandinavia’s largest independent research organisation, SINTEF has international top-level expertise in a wide range of technological and scientific disciplines. SINTEF contributed to aviation projects for ANSPs, accident investigation board, airlines and Norwegian regulation authorities.
Fabiano Dalpiaz
The Department of Information and Computing Sciences of Utrecht University, organised in four divisions (Virtual Worlds, Artificial Intelligence, Interaction Technology and Software Systems), is a leading centre of academic research into serious games, virtual worlds, and multi-agent systems in Europe.


The PACAS consortium is formed by highly qualified partners that have complimentary expertise and experience to fulfil the project aim. It is composed by Università degli studi di Trento (UNITN), Deep Blue Srl (DBL), Stiftelsen Sintef (SINTEF) and Universiteit Utrecht (UUTR).
As such the PACAS project will open new venues of research towards ATM system architectural modelling and design, by exploiting the highly interdisciplinary skills of the consortium team working in System Engineering, Gaming Techniques, Software Engineering Process, user-centred design and validation, that will provide novel approaches to enhance ATM architecture and complementing SESAR current solutions. Moreover, over the years, the partners of the consortium have already established a solid network among different stakeholders which will play a key role in this project.

PACAS-logo EU PACAS-logo Sesar JU

This project has received funding from the SESAR Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No 699306 under European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation. © – 2016 – University of Trento, Deep Blue, SINTEF, University of Utrecht. All rights reserved. Licensed to the SESAR Joint Undertaking under conditions.


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PACAS project

University of Trento