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Airborne cognitive systems in search of an appropriate context: Studies of the introduction of new technology in aviation using a cognitive systems engineering approach

Goteman, Örjan LU (2006)
Abstract
Abstract



Technology is always designed for an assumed user in an assumed context. In commercial aviation, these design assumptions are clearly spelt out in that both crew and equipment are certificated for a specific operation as stated in the aircraft flight manual. Despite this well defined user context, the designed-for and the real contexts often differ enough so that adaptations of working procedures or technology are necessary or even unavoidable in order to meet the local constraints and demands that rule in the real context of normal operations.



Previous research has demonstrated that technology often results in qualitative changes at work, such as in the ways practitioners view their jobs and... (More)
Abstract



Technology is always designed for an assumed user in an assumed context. In commercial aviation, these design assumptions are clearly spelt out in that both crew and equipment are certificated for a specific operation as stated in the aircraft flight manual. Despite this well defined user context, the designed-for and the real contexts often differ enough so that adaptations of working procedures or technology are necessary or even unavoidable in order to meet the local constraints and demands that rule in the real context of normal operations.



Previous research has demonstrated that technology often results in qualitative changes at work, such as in the ways practitioners view their jobs and organisational changes. A special instantiation of new technology is the automation of tasks previously performed by humans. Automation tends to produce adaptation in a system by changing the very task it was designed to replace, thereby forcing the humans in the system to take on new roles. But it is not only the roles that change; practitioners also adapt the technology to fit their specific needs. Predicting human performance by allocating functions either to human or to machine agents in a system according to a fixed scheme is thus not useful for system design.



Work practice is best studied in the context in which the work takes place. To investigate how the operational context shapes the practical use of RNAV, HUD and datalink, these technologies were studied during their launching phase with a European air operator using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. A fourth quantitative study was conducted on how pilots adapted procedure requirements to verbalise the aircraft's flight guidance automation modes (FMA callouts) to balance them against other competing cockpit tasks. The findings from the operationally formulated research questions were related to predictions of adaptations using a theoretical framework of cognitive systems engineering. By observing the humans involved and their technology as complementary units in a joint cognitive system, it was possible to study how pilots and air traffic controllers worked to maintain control over a joint process. It also made it possible to concentrate on the performance of the system as a whole.



Adaptation of work procedures was observed to occur spontaneously in the launching phase, in spite of the highly regulated work environment in an aircraft cockpit. System adaptation took different forms, depending on the introduced technology. A common observation in all these studies was that practitioners sought to reduce complexity in their work environments by (1) minimising the available choices and/or by (2) increasing the predictability of system outcome by updating all agents to a common understanding of the situation. In some instances, these strategies were supported by redesigning the standard operating procedures to capitalise on human perceptual strengths such as pattern-matching for monitoring. Technology redesign was observed with RNAV to simplify pilot monitoring of system performance. The adaptive strategy of reducing cognitive load by visualising the controlling constraints yielded better than expected system performance with HUD and RNAV approaches. In no instance was new automation added to the system without changes in procedures or practices. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Sammanfattning



Teknik är alltid skapad för en förväntad brukare i ett antaget sammanhang. Inom kommersiell luftfart är dessa antaganden när det gäller design tydliga. Såväl besättning som utrustning är certifierad för en viss typ av operationer i enlighet med flygplanets drifthandbok. Trots denna genomtänkta definition av användare i sitt sammanhang händer det ändå att det tänkta sammanhanget och det reella sammanhanget skiljer sig tillräckligt mycket åt för att tvinga fram en anpassning av arbetssätt och/eller teknik. Anpassningen sker för att möta de lokala krav och begränsningar som i realiteten styr operationerna.



Tidigare forskning har visat att ny... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Sammanfattning



Teknik är alltid skapad för en förväntad brukare i ett antaget sammanhang. Inom kommersiell luftfart är dessa antaganden när det gäller design tydliga. Såväl besättning som utrustning är certifierad för en viss typ av operationer i enlighet med flygplanets drifthandbok. Trots denna genomtänkta definition av användare i sitt sammanhang händer det ändå att det tänkta sammanhanget och det reella sammanhanget skiljer sig tillräckligt mycket åt för att tvinga fram en anpassning av arbetssätt och/eller teknik. Anpassningen sker för att möta de lokala krav och begränsningar som i realiteten styr operationerna.



Tidigare forskning har visat att ny teknik ofta medför kvalitativa förändringar av det arbete som skall utföras. Exempelvis vilken roll operatörens får is systemet, eller organisatoriska förändringar. En speciell form av ny teknik är automation av tidigare manuellt utfört arbete. Automation tenderar att tvinga fram en adaptation av hela systemet genom att förändra den uppgift den var tänkt att ersätta. Därigenom tvingas människorna i systemet in i nya roller. Inte bara rollerna förändras, användarna kommer också att modifiera tekniken så att den motsvarar deras specifika behov. Att förutse mänskligt beteende genom att tilldela funktioner till antingen människa, eller maskin i enlighet med ett fast schema är därför inte en framkomlig väg för systemdesign.



Arbete studeras bäst i det sammanhang som det utförs. För att ta reda på hur det operationella sammanhanget påverkar användningen av ny teknik såsom RNAV, HUD och datalänk studerades dessa under introduktionen hos en europeisk flygoperatör med hjälp av en kombination av kvalitativa och kvantitativa forskningsmetoder. En fjärde kvantitativ studie om hur piloter balanserade kraven på att verbalisera autopilotens olika styrlagar gentemot andra pressande uppgifter i cockpit kompletterade forskningen. Resultaten från de separata studierna knöts samman i ett perspektiv hämtat från kognitiv systemvetenskap. Genom att betrakta människa och maskin som komplementära aktörer i ett gemensamt kognitivt system kunde jag studera hur piloter och flygtrafikledare arbetade för att behålla kontrollen över en gemensam process, samtidigt som jag kunde koncentrera mig på hela systemets prestanda.



Anpassning av arbetsformerna uppträdde spontant i introduktionsfasen trots det väl reglerade arbetsformerna in cockpit. Anpassningen uppträdde i olika former beroende på vilken teknik som introducerades. En gemensam iakttagelse var att användarna sökte minska komplexiteten i sitt arbete genom att (1) minska antalet valmöjligheter och/eller genom att (2) öka förutsägbarheten i systemet genom att ge alla aktörerna i systemet samma uppfattning om den rådande situationen. I vissa fall stöddes dessa strategier genom att arbetets utformning omarbetades för att dra nytta av mänskliga perceptuellt starka sidor såsom igenkänning av mönster. Vi kunde konstatera at tekniken modifierades vid RNAV-inflygningar i avsikt att förenkla för piloterna att övervaka systemet. Metoden att minska kognitiv belastning genom att visualisera de begränsande parametrarna visade sig ge bättre än förväntade systemprestanda för HUD- och RNAV- inflygningar. Vi kunde inte konstatera något fall där en ökad automatisering av systemet kunde införas utan att vare sig procedurer eller praxis förändrades. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Dr Mumaw, Randall, The Boeing Company, Seattle, USA
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Lufttransportteknik, Air transport technology, Safety, RNAV, Pilot, Automation Modes, HUD, Datalink, Cognition, Automation, Aviation
pages
146 pages
publisher
Department of Design Sciences, Faculty of Engineering, Lund University
defense location
Room Stora Hörsalen, Department of Design Sciences, Ingvar Kamprad Design Center, Sövegatan 26, Lund Institute of Technology
defense date
2006-11-27 10:15:00
external identifiers
  • other:ISRN:LUTMDN/TMAT--015--SE
ISBN
91-628-6972-8
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
1f6d8cdd-722e-43a4-91c9-fff255ffe764 (old id 547422)
date added to LUP
2016-04-01 16:50:05
date last changed
2018-11-21 20:44:34
@phdthesis{1f6d8cdd-722e-43a4-91c9-fff255ffe764,
  abstract     = {Abstract<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Technology is always designed for an assumed user in an assumed context. In commercial aviation, these design assumptions are clearly spelt out in that both crew and equipment are certificated for a specific operation as stated in the aircraft flight manual. Despite this well defined user context, the designed-for and the real contexts often differ enough so that adaptations of working procedures or technology are necessary or even unavoidable in order to meet the local constraints and demands that rule in the real context of normal operations.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Previous research has demonstrated that technology often results in qualitative changes at work, such as in the ways practitioners view their jobs and organisational changes. A special instantiation of new technology is the automation of tasks previously performed by humans. Automation tends to produce adaptation in a system by changing the very task it was designed to replace, thereby forcing the humans in the system to take on new roles. But it is not only the roles that change; practitioners also adapt the technology to fit their specific needs. Predicting human performance by allocating functions either to human or to machine agents in a system according to a fixed scheme is thus not useful for system design.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Work practice is best studied in the context in which the work takes place. To investigate how the operational context shapes the practical use of RNAV, HUD and datalink, these technologies were studied during their launching phase with a European air operator using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. A fourth quantitative study was conducted on how pilots adapted procedure requirements to verbalise the aircraft's flight guidance automation modes (FMA callouts) to balance them against other competing cockpit tasks. The findings from the operationally formulated research questions were related to predictions of adaptations using a theoretical framework of cognitive systems engineering. By observing the humans involved and their technology as complementary units in a joint cognitive system, it was possible to study how pilots and air traffic controllers worked to maintain control over a joint process. It also made it possible to concentrate on the performance of the system as a whole.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Adaptation of work procedures was observed to occur spontaneously in the launching phase, in spite of the highly regulated work environment in an aircraft cockpit. System adaptation took different forms, depending on the introduced technology. A common observation in all these studies was that practitioners sought to reduce complexity in their work environments by (1) minimising the available choices and/or by (2) increasing the predictability of system outcome by updating all agents to a common understanding of the situation. In some instances, these strategies were supported by redesigning the standard operating procedures to capitalise on human perceptual strengths such as pattern-matching for monitoring. Technology redesign was observed with RNAV to simplify pilot monitoring of system performance. The adaptive strategy of reducing cognitive load by visualising the controlling constraints yielded better than expected system performance with HUD and RNAV approaches. In no instance was new automation added to the system without changes in procedures or practices.},
  author       = {Goteman, Örjan},
  isbn         = {91-628-6972-8},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {Department of Design Sciences, Faculty of Engineering, Lund University},
  school       = {Lund University},
  title        = {Airborne cognitive systems in search of an appropriate context: Studies of the introduction of new technology in aviation using a cognitive systems engineering approach},
  year         = {2006},
}