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Human problem solving is considered with emphasis on situations involving human-machine interaction in detecting, diagnosing, and compensating for failures in engineering systems. An overall model is presented which considers the breath and robustness of human problem-solving behavior in dynamic environments typical of engineering systems. A realization of the general structure of this model within a particular rule-based computer program is discussed. In this program the human behavior in controlling a dynamic process is represented by a set of production rules. The selection of appropriate production rules for a given situation is performed by ordering the rules for specific tasks and by a control mechanism. The latter provides a means to access only a small part of the knowledge base at a time in order to derive decisions as opposed to searching the whole knowledge base. This program was applied to model human problem solving in a process control task. Results from comparing model and subject behavior are presented and discussed.