Strategic de-confliction in the presence of a large number of 4D trajectories using a causal modeling approach

Sergio Ruiz, Miquel A. Piera, Jenaro Nosedal, Andrea Ranieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a strategic de-confliction algorithm based on causal modeling developed under the STREAM project and launched under the umbrella of the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) Program. The basic underlying concept makes use of the enriched information included in the Shared Business Trajectories (SBTs) of the flights prior to takeoff (or in the Reference Business Trajectories (RBTs) if the flight is airborne) to allocate conflict-free trajectories in a traffic planning phase that should lead to an actual conflict-free scenario in the flight execution phase in the absence of flight and/or network uncertainties. The proposed approach could decrease the workload of the air traffic controllers, thus improving the Air Traffic Management (ATM) capacity while meeting the maximum possible expectations of the Airspace Users' requirements in terms of horizontal flight efficiency. The main modules of the implemented system are also presented in this paper; these modules are designed to enable the processing of thousands of trajectories within a few seconds or minutes and encompass a global network scope with a planning horizon of approximately 2-3. h. The causal model applied for network conflict resolution and flight routing allocation is analyzed to demonstrate how the emergent dynamics (i.e., domino effects) of local trajectory amendments can be efficiently explored to identify conflict-free Pareto-efficient network scenarios. Various performance indicators can be taken into account in the multi-criteria optimization process, thus offering to the network manager a flexible tool for fostering a collaborative planning process. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-147
JournalTransportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • 4D Trajectories
  • Causal analysis
  • Dynamic route allocation
  • SESAR program
  • Strategic conflict detection and resolution
  • Strategic de-confliction

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