Reviewing the DATAS of aviation research data: Diversity, Availability, Tractability, Applicability, and Sources

The field of aviation research is entering the era of big data. While data-driven advancements in aviation have clearly brought about applicable models and results with immediate implications, the authors argue that the influx of aviation data should be better characterized and documented to enable more efficient and standardized usage. To this end, they examine 200 well-cited research articles from sub-disciplines ranging from revenue management to air traffic control published on or after 2010 in order to analyze the diversity, availability, tractability, applicability, and sources (DATAS) of data utilized in aviation research. The authors find high levels of data diversity within aviation research, with 16 data categories ranging from air traffic flow management-type data to data from distributed sensors in line with the Internet-of-Things (IoT) paradigm. They identified a dominance of proprietary, non-public data in aviation research, with 68% of the 200 research articles utilizing solely proprietary data in deriving their results, and a further 8% utilizing a mixture of proprietary and publicly available data. The pervasiveness of proprietary data has implications on reproducibility and extending research results. The authors also highlight the increasing tractability of the data by surveying the computational power required to process the data sets, and present vignettes of applications and results that stem from these data-driven studies. Finally, they propose several recommendations regarding standardizing data source nomenclature as well as increasing the availability of and usage of publicly available data.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee AV040 Standing Committee on Aviation Economics and Forecasting.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

  • Authors:
    • Li, Max Z
    • Ryerson, Megan S
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2019


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: 15p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01697391
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 19-04659
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 7 2018 9:26AM