Designing function allocations in air traffic concepts of operation using network optimization

Raunak P. Bhattacharyya, Amy R. Pritchett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Innovative air traffic concepts of operation are now possible that enable different allocations of the authority to perform actions between air and ground, as well as between humans and automation. This paper proposes a systematic approach for this allocation of authority early in the design of a concept of operations. The methodology models the concept of operations as a network of actions, linked by the information they create and require. The responsibility for an outcome is also noted in the network, identifying where a responsible agent will need to monitor actions performed by others toward that outcome. This model frames the synthesis of authority allocation as an optimal network clustering problem. In a case study involving merging and spacing operations, allocations of authority are created to meet specific objectives for information transfer between agents and for constraints on the task load of each agent. The results demonstrate how significantly the resulting allocations of authority can vary, as well as the value of a method to efficiently identify allocations of authority with desired properties and system performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-71
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Air Transportation
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Safety Research
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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