Data science is a new discipline that aims to extract information or knowledge from data. It is unusual in terms of the quantity and heterogeneity of the data that is involved. Roughly 1021 bytes of data was collected worldwide in 2010. This increased to 2,8.1021 in 2012, with 40.1021 estimated for 2020 (note that the number of stars in the universe is estimated to be 1024). Classical techniques of data storage and analysis – drawn primarily from the fields of mathematics, statistics, computer programming and data visualization – must be adapted to deal with such large volumes of data.
We are also witnessing a rapid increase in the availability of aeronautical and air transport data, including real-time aircraft trajectories, information on airport activities, and economic data. This evolution drives the development of new research programmes but also creates a need for innovation in the training of future engineers and technicians in the civil air transport sector.
The DEVI group has been created with these changes in mind. Its role is to contribute to the field of data science; to develop economic models capable of analyzing agents’ behaviour; to estimate and test these models using tools from econometrics and statistics; and to interpret and visualize the data as an aid to understanding and decision-making.
DEVI has particular expertise in the fields of statistics, economics and interactive data visualization. This includes methodological expertise in areas such as machine learning, data mining, visualization, and databases, as well as a deep understanding of the scientific domains from which the data is drawn.
The group’s research activities are supported by experts in database management, including the “ENAC Air Transport Data” database. We aim to offer a storage solution for the different databases currently at ENAC, to facilitate their use, and to improve research collaboration and synergies.
DEVI is also heavily involved in teaching in the group’s scientific fields of expertise, and prepares a wide range of ENAC students for careers in research and industry.