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Using critical incidents to understand the interactions of airline dispatchers with the traffic management system

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7 Author(s)
Smith, P.J. ; Cognitive Syst. Eng. Lab., Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH, USA ; Caisse, S. ; Beck, C. ; Denning, R.
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The purpose of the work was to explore various themes central to human interaction with complex socio technical systems. These include the decomposition of roles and responsibilities as a way to deal with the cognitive complexity of working in a dynamic real time environment. If the locus of control is shifted as a result of this decomposition, then access to appropriate information necessary to support each subtask becomes an issue. Technology is one obvious tool to both help reduce cognitive complexity and to aid with communication, but identifying the appropriate role for technology in this setting requires additional investigation. Finally, if the goal is to design an effective collaborative environment, it is necessary to have an appropriate infrastructure, including information/communication paths, policies, procedures and technology, to support this environment. In order to explore these issues in the interactions of airline dispatchers with flight crews and with the traffic management system, a group of 11 experts was convened to represent different system perspectives. Critical incidents representing actual events were collected to focus the discussion. These incidents were presented one at a time to the participants, who were then asked to discuss them from their different perspectives. Three critical incidents are presented. Results for each incident are presented as a summary of the discussion initiated by that incident. Finally, conclusions are presented which identify the overarching themes

Published in:

Human Interaction with Complex Systems, 1998. Proceedings., Fourth Annual Symposium on

Date of Conference:

22-25 Mar 1998