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 paper accepted to ER-17

PACAS paper “Goal Models for Acceptance Requirements Analysis and Gamification Design” has been accepted to the ER 2017 International Conference on Conceptual Modeling, to be held 6-9 November, 2017 in Valencia, Spain.
Additional details will be provided after the conference.

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 paper accepted at the MoDRE workshop

Our paper titled Towards Aligning Multi-Concern Models via NLP was accepted to be presented at the Model-Driven Requirements Engineering (MoDRE) Workshop. The workshop will be co-located with the IEEE Requirements Engineering Conference, taking place in Lisbon (Portugal) the 4th of September 2017. The paper briefly explains the natural language processing-based reasoning mechanisms that are implemented to support modellers in the PACAS platform by providing sets of concepts from the Air Traffic Management Information Reference Model (AIRM) as suggestions. The approach PACAS developed can be used with other domain ontologies and diverse modeling languages without unifying their meta-models.

The design of large-scale complex systems requires their analysis from multiple perspectives, often through the use of requirements models. Diversely located experts with different backgrounds (e.g., safety, security, performance) create such models using different requirements modeling languages. One open challenge is how to align these models such that they cover the same parts of the domain. We propose a technique based on natural language processing (NLP) that analyzes several models included in a project and provides suggestions to modelers based on what is represented in the models that analyze other concerns. Unlike techniques based on meta-model alignment, ours is flexible and language agnostic. We report the results of a focus group session in which experts from the air traffic management domain discussed our approach.

The preprint of Towards Aligning Multi-Concern Models via NLP can be accessed here.

Back from the the IEEE RCIS 2017 conference

On 10-12 May 2017, PACAS took part in the Eleventh IEEE International Conference on Research Challenges in Information Science (RCIS), where the project presented its paper Gamification Solutions for Software Acceptance: A Comparative Study of Requirements Engineering and Organizational Behavior Techniques.

The presentation made during the conference is now available online, and you can also read the full paper here.

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!

Hidden figures: PACAS @World ATM Congress!

PACAS participated in the World ATM Congress (WAC), held in Madrid, from 7 to 9 March 2017. PACAS was invited to the public workshop on the “SESAR 2020 Exploratory Research: Human Factors supporting Automation in ATM”. The workshop presented different SESAR Exploratory Research projects analysing human factors issues in highly automated ATC environments, and proposing solutions to mitigate potential adverse effects.

Martina Ragosta provided a presentation on the project, describing its objectives, preliminary results and next activities.

The event represented a great opportunity for close interactions with manufacturers, operators and all other stakeholders that may be interested in the topics of automation and human performance. We thank all speakers and participants for the valuable exchange of information and also for creating a fruitful spirit of cooperation!

The World ATM Congress is the reference international platform for the global civil and commercial ATM industry, hosting the most important stakeholders of the ATM field, including ANSPs, regulatory agencies and the major international industries of the civil aviation to discuss the future trends and developments of air traffic management. It combines the large-scale exhibition with demonstration sessions and world-class conferences and workshops, organized by SESAR JU, CANSO and ATCA.