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Technical Paper

Integrated Use of Data Mining and Statistical Analysis Methods to Analyze Air Traffic Delays

Linear regression is the primary data analysis method used in the development of air traffic delay models. When the data being studied does indeed have an underlying linear model, this approach would produce the best-fitting model as expected. However, it has been argued by ATM researchers [Wieland2005, Evans2004] that the underlying delay models are primarily non-linear. Furthermore, the delays being modeled often depend not only on the observable independent variables being studied but also on other variables not being considered. The traditional regression approach alone may not be best suited to study these type of problems. In this paper, we propose an alternate methodology based on partitioning the data using statistical and decision tree learning methods. We then show the utility of this model in a variety of different ATM modeling problems.
Technical Paper

Compressing Aviation Data in XML Format

Design, operations and maintenance activities in aviation involve analysis of variety of aviation data. This data is typically in disparate formats making it difficult to use with different software packages. Use of a self-describing and extensible standard called XML provides a solution to this interoperability problem. While self-describing nature of XML makes it easy to reuse, it also increases the size of data significantly. A natural solution to the problem is to compress the data using suitable algorithm and transfer it in the compressed form. We found that XML-specific compressors such as Xmill and XMLPPM generally outperform traditional compressors. However, optimal use of Xmill requires of discovery of optimal options to use while running Xmill. Manual discovery of optimal setting can require an engineer to experiment for weeks.
Technical Paper

Aviation Data Integration System

A number of airlines have FOQA programs that analyze archived flight data. Although this analysis process is extremely useful for assessing airline concerns in the areas of aviation safety, operations, training, and maintenance, looking at flight data in isolation does not always provide the context necessary to support a comprehensive analysis. To improve the analysis process, the Aviation Data Integration Project (ADIP) has been developing techniques for integrating flight data with auxiliary sources of relevant aviation data. ADIP has developed an aviation data integration system (ADIS) comprised of a repository and associated integration middleware that provides rapid and secure access to various data sources, including weather data, airport operating condition (ATIS) reports, radar data, runway visual range data, and navigational charts.
Journal Article

Modeling Weather Impact on Ground Delay Programs

Scheduled arriving aircraft demand may exceed airport arrival capacity when there is abnormal weather at an airport. In such situations, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) institutes ground-delay programs (GDP) to delay flights before they depart from their originating airports. Efficient GDP planning depends on the accuracy of prediction of airport capacity and demand in the presence of uncertainties in weather forecast. This paper presents a study of the impact of dynamic airport surface weather on GDPs. Using the National Traffic Management Log, effect of weather conditions on the characteristics of GDP events at selected busy airports is investigated. Two machine learning methods are used to generate models that map the airport operational conditions and weather information to issued GDP parameters and results of validation tests are described.