Back from the REFSQ2018 conference

On the 19-22nd of March 2018, PACAS was in Utrecht (the Netherlands) to attend the 24th International Working Conference on Requirements Engineering: Foundation for Software Quality (REFSQ2018).

On the 20th, Elda Paja presented a poster, titled A Gamified Platform for Participatory Change Management in ATM Systems, and a demo of the participatory platform. Conference participants, consisting of about 90 people of academic and industrial backgrounds, received PACAS’s work very well, with people taking note of the project and the platform URLs, asking questions on gamification and on the composition of the Advisory Board, as well as more technical questions regarding the support for live simultaneous-modelling and automated reasoning techniques.

On the 22nd, Fabiano Dalpiaz presented the paper “Pinpointing Ambiguity and Incompleteness in RE via Information Visualization and NLP during the Taming Ambiguity session. Around 30 people, most of which with an industrial background, attended the session. The paper presents the synergistic use of natural language processing and information visualization to identify possible ambiguities in the terminology used from various experts, and to pinpoint possibly missing requirements for a system under design. The presentation was followed by a lengthy and lively discussion, which touched upon important points such as how to embed the technique in the current development methods, how this may apply to specific domains such as automotive, the possibility to update the visualization in real time, and so on. The overall reaction was very positive, and some of the industry participants confirmed this type of work relates very well with many of the problems they are currently facing in their working practices.

PACAS symposium at IEA2018

PACAS is organising a symposium to be held in the framework of the next International Ergonomics Association (IEA) Congress (26-30 August, Florence, Italy).

The symposium is dedicated to “Innovative Human Performance Measurements supporting Future Automation challenges in Aviation“, and involves six other European projects dealing with automation and/or human performance: AUTOPACE, MINIMA, RETINA, TACO, MOTO and STRESS.

Below you can find additional details on the sympsium.

Automation is one of the key solutions proposed and adopted by the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR JU) to tackle the challenges coming from the increase of capacity and complexity of the future Air Traffic Management (ATM) system. On the one hand, the Programme aims at reducing operational task load through an enhancement of integrated automation support, whilst meeting the established safety and environmental goals. On the other hand, humans should be able to remain at the core of the system, mainly with the role of overall system managers, supported by automated systems with the required degree of integrity and redundancy.

In recent years, the topic of defining and measuring human performance (HP) has gained some momentum in the frame of an increasingly complex ATM system. The projects funded by SESAR JU and the Horizon 2020 Programme confirm the increasing interest. Therefore, the present Symposium will give an overview of different methodologies and applications being developed in ATM.

The seven projects being presented are the following: Human Performance Neurometrics Toolbox For Highly Automated Systems Design (STRESS); The Embodied Remote Tower (MOTO); Resilient Synthetic Vision for Advanced Control Tower Air Navigation Service Provision (RETINA); Facilitating the AUTOmation PACE (AUTOPACE); Take Control (TACO); Participatory Architectural Change MAnagement in ATM Systems (PACAS); MItigating Negative Impacts of Monitoring high levels of Automation (MINIMA).

The overall aim of the projects is to demonstrate how multimodal solutions, artificial intelligence and human performance indexes can act as enablers to support human performance in the digital ATM future.

The symposium will focus on the following topics:

— Generation of knowledge for assessing the changes in human roles in higher automation scenarios (e.g. participatory design and gamified platform);

— Definition of user requirements and guidelines for the design of innovative technologies that are compatible with human capabilities and limitations (e.g. remote tower operations);

— Identification and validation of neurophysiological indexes to monitor HP aspects (e.g. stress, attention and sense of presence) in realistic operational environments;

— Design of usable tools and innovative interaction solutions to improve ATCOs situational awareness and decision-making processes.

PACAS close out meeting

We are a bit sad to announce that PACAS is coming to an end, and will hold its close out meeting at the end of the month. On the 27th of February, the Consortium will gather in Brussels and the WP leaders will illustrate to PACAS’s project officers the results achieved within their WP’s.

But don’t be too sad! We have still much to say, and we will keep updating this website with our news and results, so… stay tuned and keep following us on Twitter and LinkedIn!

PACAS at the REFSQ2018 conference

PACAS has been selected to attend the 24th International Working Conference on Requirements Engineering: Foundation for Software Quality (REFSQ2018) to be held in Utrecht (the Netherlands) on the 19-22nd of March 2018. On this occasion, PACAS will provide full presentation of the paper “Pinpointing Ambiguity and Incompleteness in RE via Information Visualization and NLP” to an audience of both academic attendees and industry practitioners active in the field of requirements engineering.

The paper presents one technique that has been initially proposed in the first release of the reasoning proof-of-concept, and that provides a visualization of the concepts identified in the labels in one or more models, showing the perspective they belong to, and whether ambiguous terms are being used.

Multiple experts can use the work to discuss their own models in terms of the terminology they employ. In our paper, we report on a variant of this system that has been applied to the design of a website. A prototype tool that can be utilized to interactively filter the elements in the model supports our algorithm. Although not yet fully integrated in the PACAS platform, we believe this kind of tooling is essential to guarantee the terminological alignment between multiple designers. We expect this type of visualizations to be employed in follow-up projects that stem from PACAS.

We worked hard, we played harder!

As you know, last November PACAS attended the SESAR Innovation Days 2017 with a Tutorial session on “Participatory architectural change management in Air Traffic Management system.

The first part of the Tutorial provided an overview of the participatory change management process, emphasizing the importance of active stakeholder participation and describing the two main support tools, i.e. gamification for stakeholder engagement, and automated reasoning techniques for handling complexity. In the second part, we introduced the PACAS approach, expressly created for architectural change management in ATM systems, and described an ATM example case study dealing with the Sectorless change issue. Finally, we concluded with a demo of the framework.

The Tutorial was a success! Many SIDs attendees participated in the session, leading to a lot of interactions with the platform. Application of the platform to the ATM domain, in particular, raised much interest amongst the audience.

At the beginning of December, PACAS also held its final validation workshop at the University of Trento. The workshop involved our Advisory Board, which digitally engaged with the platform, experiencing all of its features:

o Gamification
o Multi-modelling
o Automated reasoning
o Participatory management process

This thorough interaction generated lots of feedback that PACAS will include in its next deliverables.

PACAS tutorial at SIDs 2017

In the framework of the next SESAR Innovation Days, to be held at the University of Belgrade (Serbia), PACAS organises the tutorial session “Participatory architectural change management in Air Traffic Management system. The session will be held on Wednesday, 29th of November 2017 (h. 14:30-16:30). Participation is free and open but, due to space constraints, registration is required!


The Tutorial

Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems are complex systems of systems. Understanding all possible consequences of a design decision in an ATM system is a challenge due to the complexity of ATM systems and the existence of tight interdependencies within the ATM architecture. Knowing the implications of change(s) over the whole system is crucial to support decision-making, while making sure that the ATM system does not suffer from any issues with respect to functionality, safety, security, performance, cost efficiency, or other desired characteristics of a well-functioning ATM system. Given that decision-making involves the consideration of more high-level objectives, the change management process should involve multiple ATM domain stakeholders, one for each given objective, in order to explore a vast space of alternatives and agreeing on optimal solutions. It becomes, thus, crucial the active participation of stakeholders. However, given the variety of experts, their different areas of expertise, as well as their geographical distribution, participatory change management requires user engagement and tools to support and facilitate the work of experts along their interaction.

To address the first concern, in recent years, gamification is broadly used as a tool to engage participation with the help of elements, such as leader-boards or challenges between users. On the other hand, a multi-perspective, model-based approach provides important benefits in that:

1. it allows analyzing individual perspectives without the need of a holistic representation;

2. it handles complexity through automated reasoning techniques in a transparent way to find optimal solutions as a trade-off among different objectives.

We provide an overview of the participatory change management process, emphasizing the importance of active stakeholder participation. We describe the two main support tools, i.e. gamification for stakeholder engagement, and automated reasoning techniques for handling complexity.

Focus on: Participatory process, Gamification & Automated reasoning techniques

We introduce the PACAS approach, expressly created for architectural change management in ATM systems. We briefly describe an ATM example case study dealing with the Sectorless change issue, and conclude with a demo of the framework.

Focus on: ATM case study & Demo

We are looking forward to meeting you in Belgrade!

PACAS @MoDRE’17 workshop

PACAS members F. Başak Aydemir and Fabiano Dalpiaz presented the intelligent cross-view alignment method developed for the PACAS platform at the 2017 edition of the Model Driven Requirements Engineering Workshop (MoDRE’17) that is co-located with the 25th IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE 2017).

PACAS at the MoDRE 2017 Workshop

The paper presents the architecture and the inner workings of a web service that supports modelers in collaborative, multi-concern modelling settings.
The service extracts and analyzes the natural language text from models, and provides suggestions to the modellers based on what has been modelled in the other models included in the same project.
The motivation of the work comes from the change management processes in European air traffic management, where experts with different expertise from different countries collaborate with each other in order to analyze solution proposals from different aspects, such as safety and security, in order to make the best decision among different solution candidates. The main goal of the service is to support alignment in such settings, that is, to help modellers cover similar, if not the same concepts from the domain.

The presentation provoked a lively discussion within the audience. The audience suggested that the same approach can be applied to software development processes to manage models produced during the model-driven development. Possibilities for future work such as the application of advanced natural language processing libraries to improve the analysis of the natural language text extracted from the models were also discussed.

The pre-print of the paper is available here. You can also contact the authors for additional details via Twitter: @aydemirfb and @FabianoDalpiaz.

PACAS Members F. Basak Aydemir and Fabiano Dalpiaz attended the MoDRE Workshop, co-located with the Requirements Engineering Conference

Happy Summer!

PACAS project is currently enjoying its well-earned holidays and wishes you a happy summer time! We will be back again in September, with lots of news.


The project will be at the Model-Driven Requirements Engineering (MoDRE) Workshop, to be held in Lisbon, Portugal, on the 4th of September 2017, where it will present a paper titled Towards Aligning Multi-Concern Models via NLP.

Secondly, PACAS will submit a paper focusing on platform requirements​ to the Requirements Engineering: Foundation for Software Quality (RefSQ 2018) conference, to be held in Utrecht, The Netherlands, 19-22 March 2018.

The project will also take part in the 7th SESAR Innovation Days (SIDs) hosted by University of Belgrade, Serbia, 28-30 November 2017, with a paper and possibly a tutorial. The paper will present the main project results, focusing on ATM​.​

​In addition, following our participation in the ICISSP last February, PACAS has been invited to submit a project presentation to be published in the European Project Space book, along with information about the other projects presented at the conference. The book will be published by SCITEPRESS and will be made available at its Digital Library.

Finally, the project will hold its final validation workshop in the 1st week of December.


More info will be available soon. To be sure to receive our updates, keep following us also on Twitter and LinkedIn!

PACAS at the IEEE RCIS 2017 conference

PACAS’s paper Gamification Solutions for Software Acceptance was accepted to the IEEE RCIS 2017.

The Eleventh IEEE International Conference on Research Challenges in Information Science (RCIS)  will be held 10-12 May 2017 in Brighton (UK), and PACAS will take part in the event to present the paper.

Gamification is a powerful paradigm and a set of best practices used to motivate people carrying out a variety of ICT–mediated tasks. Designing gamification solutions and applying them to a given ICT system is a complex and expensive process (in time, competences and money) as software engineers have to cope with heterogeneous stakeholder requirements on one hand, and Acceptance Requirements on the other, that together ensure effective user participation and a high level of system utilization. As such, gamification solutions require significant analysis and design as well as suitable supporting tools and techniques.
In this work, we compare concepts, tools and techniques for gamification design drawn from Software Engineering and Human and Organizational Behaviors. We conduct a comparison by applying both techniques to the specific Meeting Scheduling exemplar used extensively in the Requirements Engineering literature.

Click to read the full paper Gamification Solutions for Software Acceptance: A Comparative Study of Requirements Engineering and Organizational Behavior Techniques or click on the banner below to know more on the conference.

Second validation workshop

On the 4th of April, 2017 the Consortium gathered in Rome for the 2nd Validation workshop, aimed at redefining both PACAS participatory platform and also the process for implementing the use case. Thanks to the active involvement of the Advisory Board members, the team also focussed on identifying and thoroughly discussing gamification and automated reasoning elements.

Feedback given by the Advisory Board will also be included in the next project deliverables, currently under preparation:

D2.3 “Second major release of the platform and guidelines”
D4.2 “First release of the reasoning proof-of-concept”

Keep following us for updates!