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Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Part A: Systems and Humans, IEEE Transactions on

Issue 3 • Date May 2011

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  • Table of contents

    Page(s): C1
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  • IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics—Part A: Systems and Humans publication information

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  • Computing the Effects of Operator Attention Allocation in Human Control of Multiple Robots

    Page(s): 385 - 397
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1104 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    In time-critical systems in which a human operator supervises multiple semiautomated tasks, failure of the operator to focus attention on high-priority tasks in a timely manner can lower the effectiveness of the system and potentially result in catastrophic consequences. These systems must integrate computer-based technologies that help the human operator place attention on the right tasks at the right times to be successful. One way to assist the operator in this process is to compute where the operator's attention should be focused and then use this computation to influence the operator's behavior. In this paper, we analyze the ability of a particular modeling method to make such computations for effective attention allocation in human-multiple-robot systems. Our results demonstrate that it is not sufficient to simply compute and dictate how operators should allocate their attention. Rather, in stochastic domains, where small changes in either the endogenous or exogenous environment can dramatically affect model fidelity, model predictions should guide rather than dictate operator attentional resources so that operators can effectively exercise their judgment and experience. View full abstract»

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  • Cybernetics of Vision Systems: Toward an Understanding of Putative Functions of the Outer Retina

    Page(s): 398 - 409
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    The retina still poses many structural and computational questions. Structurally, for example, it is not yet clear how many distinct horizontal cell (HC) types the primate retina contains and what the exact patterns of connections between photoreceptors (PRs) and HCs consist of. Computationally, it is not yet clear, for instance, what functions are present and how they are being implemented. This paper proposes a model (a linear recurrent neural network defined by 31 parameters) of the outer retina and an optimization methodology that hopes to shed some light on these questions. This paper shows that a simplified model of the outer retina can implement several low-level visual functions involving the modulation of noise, brightness, contrast, saturation, and even color. The results demonstrate that contrast control functions can be implemented with a minimum of two HC types and that spectral specificity between PRs and HCs is a common and important feature. It is also shown that several different spectrally specific patterns can emerge in order to implement the same function. One interesting microcircuit that naturally emerged from our experiments involves nonblurry denoising via interchromatic gap junctions and compensatory resaturation via HC circuits, a strategy that we hypothesize to exist in some biological retinae. View full abstract»

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  • Using the Support Vector Regression Approach to Model Human Performance

    Page(s): 410 - 417
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    Empirical data modeling can be used to model human performance and explore the relationships between diverse sets of variables. A major challenge of empirical data modeling is how to generalize or extrapolate the findings with a limited amount of observed data to a broader context. In this paper, we introduce an approach from machine learning, known as support vector regression (SVR), which can help address this challenge. To demonstrate the method and the value of modeling human performance with SVR, we apply SVR to a real-world human factors problem of night vision system design for passenger vehicles by modeling the probability of pedestrian detection as a function of image metrics. The results indicate that the SVR-based model of pedestrian detection shows good performance. Some suggestions on modeling human performance by using SVR are discussed. View full abstract»

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  • Designing Organizations for Dynamic Fit: System Stability, Maneuverability, and Opportunity Loss

    Page(s): 418 - 433
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (631 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Fit represents a central concept for organizational design, but extant research maintains a static focus on fit, a focus that is incommensurate with the fundamentally dynamic nature of organizations and their environments. Most key organizational environments are inherently dynamic; hence, the corresponding organizational designs required for fit are necessarily dynamic too. The problem is, the dynamics of fit are not addressed well by extant theory in organization and management sciences. Alternatively, organizations can be viewed as systems of purposeful design, and designing organizations to maintain fit and respond to dynamic environments over time may be informed well by theory and practice in engineering fields where such design is well established. In this paper, we abstract to the level of airplane design, and we utilize the dynamical language and integrated system of concepts, definitions, and interrelationships from the engineering field Aerodynamics to extend organization and management sciences and address the problem of organizational design in a dynamic context. We begin with a focused summary of the literature regarding the nature of organizational fitness. We then outline a conceptual model adapted to organizational design from Aerodynamics, and we summarize the key aerodynamics concepts stability and maneuverability to inform our conceptualization in terms of both airplane and organization design. This paper enables us to articulate a set of propositions and measures that form a basis for empirical testing. This paper also reveals important, dynamic organizational design tradeoffs and implications, and it shows how such conceptualization can elucidate new insights via comparison with and extension to extant theory. View full abstract»

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  • Demand-Compliant Design

    Page(s): 434 - 448
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    In this paper, we describe, in detail, a design method that assures that the designed product satisfies a set of prescribed demands while, at the same time, providing a concise representation of the design that facilitates communication in multidisciplinary design teams. This Demand Compliant Design (DeCoDe) method was in itself designed to comply with a set of demands. The demands on the method were determined by an analysis of some of the most widely used design methods and from the needs arising in the practice of design for quality. We show several modes of use of the DeCoDe method and illustrate with examples. View full abstract»

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  • A Study Into the Factors That Influence the Understandability of Business Process Models

    Page(s): 449 - 462
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (576 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Business process models are key artifacts in the development of information systems. While one of their main purposes is to facilitate communication among stakeholders, little is known about the factors that influence their comprehension by human agents. On the basis of a sound theoretical foundation, this paper presents a study into these factors. Specifically, the effects of both personal and model factors are investigated. Using a questionnaire, students from three different universities evaluated a set of realistic process models. Our findings are that both types of investigated factors affect model understanding, while personal factors seem to be the more important of the two. The results have been validated in a replication that involves professional modelers. View full abstract»

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  • A New and Efficient Intelligent Collaboration Scheme for Fashion Design

    Page(s): 463 - 475
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    Technology-mediated collaboration process has been extensively studied for over a decade. Most applications with collaboration concepts reported in the literature focus on enhancing efficiency and effectiveness of the decision-making processes in objective and well-structured workflows. However, relatively few previous studies have investigated the applications of collaboration schemes to problems with subjective and unstructured nature. In this paper, we explore a new intelligent collaboration scheme for fashion design which, by nature, relies heavily on human judgment and creativity. Techniques such as multicriteria decision making, fuzzy logic, and artificial neural network (ANN) models are employed. Industrial data sets are used for the analysis. Our experimental results suggest that the proposed scheme exhibits significant improvement over the traditional method in terms of the time-cost effectiveness, and a company interview with design professionals has confirmed its effectiveness and significance. View full abstract»

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  • Formalizing a Workflow-Net Implementation of Design-Structure-Matrix-Based Process Planning for New Product Development

    Page(s): 476 - 491
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    Many new product development (NPD) projects fail. The NPD context, which incorporates knowledge about the product, requirements, technology, and other factors, is dynamically evolving during the process. Simulations of NPD processes using their specific contexts can provide project managers with decisions-making methods to test their planning. The design structure matrix (DSM) can be used to model the product knowledge; then, reordering algorithms are used for process planning. However, interpretation of the DSM-based plan is not unique, and its translation to a process workflow (WF) model may lead to implementation inconsistencies. WF nets, being a subclass of Petri nets, provide formal tools for verifying process properties. Well handled with Regular Iteration (WRI)-WF nets are a subclass of WF nets that are sound by construction and, therefore, enable an automated process-build approach. This paper presents a formal translation of the DSM-based plan to a process-scheme model, the DSM net, which can be executed and simulated. Using several translation stages, it is proved that the resulting DSM net is equivalent to a WRI-WF net. Therefore, the proposed translation is inherently sound and can be automated, becoming an enabler of implementing evolving product knowledge into a sound changing-process model required for NPD simulations. The presented approach bridges an identified gap between the process-planning community (DSM) and the process-implementation community (Petri net). View full abstract»

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  • Ontology-Based Unified Robot Knowledge for Service Robots in Indoor Environments

    Page(s): 492 - 509
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    A significant obstacle for service robots is the execution of complex tasks in real environments. For example, it is not easy for service robots to find objects that are partially observable and are located at a place which is not identical but near the place where the robots saw them previously. To overcome the challenge effectively, robot knowledge represented as a semantic network can be extremely useful. This paper presents an ontology-based unified robot knowledge framework that integrates low-level data with high-level knowledge for robot intelligence. This framework consists of two sections: knowledge description and knowledge association. Knowledge description includes comprehensively integrated robot knowledge derived from low-level knowledge regarding perceptual features, part objects, metric maps, and primitive behaviors, as well as high-level knowledge about perceptual concepts, objects, semantic maps, tasks, and contexts. Knowledge association uses logical inference with both unidirectional and bidirectional rules. This characteristic enables reasoning to be performed even when only a partial information is available. The experimental results that demonstrate the advantages of using the proposed knowledge framework are also presented. View full abstract»

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  • A Petri Net Approach to Analyzing Behavioral Compatibility and Similarity of Web Services

    Page(s): 510 - 521
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    Web services have become the technology of choice for service-oriented computing implementation, where Web services can be composed in response to some users' needs. It is critical to verify the compatibility of component Web services to ensure the correctness of the whole composition in which these components participate. Traditionally, two conditions need to be satisfied during the verification of compatibility: reachable termination and proper termination. Unfortunately, it is complex and time consuming to verify those two conditions. To reduce the complexity of this verification, we model Web services using colored Petri nets (PNs) so that a specific property of their structures is looked into, namely, well structuredness. We prove that only reachable termination needs to be satisfied when verifying behavioral compatibility among well-structured Web services. When a composition is declared as valid and in the case where one of its component Web services fails at run time, an alternative one with similar behavior needs to come into play as a substitute. Thus, it is important to develop effective approaches that permit one to analyze the similarity of Web services. Although many existing approaches utilize PNs to analyze behavioral compatibility, few of them explore further appropriate definitions of behavioral similarity and provide a user-friendly tool with automatic verification. In this paper, we introduce a formal definition of context-independent similarity and show that a Web service can be substituted by an alternative peer of similar behavior without intervening other Web services in the composition. Therefore, the cost of verifying service substitutability is largely reduced. We also provide an algorithm for the verification and implement it in a tool. Using the tool, the verification of behavioral similarity of Web services can be performed in an automatic way. View full abstract»

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  • Enforcing Periodic Transition Deadlines in Time Petri Nets With Net Unfoldings

    Page(s): 522 - 539
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (433 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    We define a method for the automatic generation of supervisory controllers that force a plant to perform a given operation by a given deadline. The operation must be executed by a prespecified delay λ with respect to the previous execution of the operation. Although our supervisor generation occurs offline with respect to plant execution, the resulting controllers automatically take into account variable task durations in an effort to increase the flexibility of operation schedules in the controlled plant. We model both the controlled plant and control supervisors as time Petri nets. In this setting, our control supervisors must force a target transition td to fire within λ time units since the previous firing of td. Our supervisor generation is based on the concept of a transition latency. The latency of a Petri net transition t is the time interval during which t must be disabled in order for target transition td to fire by its deadline. If a transition t that may delay the firing of td has latency l(t), then t must be disabled at least l(t) time units before the expiration of the deadline on td. In this paper, we discuss in detail two algorithms for generating transition latencies, and we show an application to a maintenance system. View full abstract»

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  • Prognosis of Hybrid Systems With Multiple Incipient Faults: Augmented Global Analytical Redundancy Relations Approach

    Page(s): 540 - 551
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    In this paper, a model-based fault prognosis method is developed for hybrid systems with multiple incipient faults. The concept of augmented global analytical redundancy relations is proposed for the identification of degradation of components, such as sensors and actuators, which cannot be described by physical parameters. In addition, multiple incipient faults are considered in a complex hybrid system, and these faults can develop during a mode when the faults are not detectable. The unknown degradation characteristic of each incipient fault is identified with the closest matching one of some prescribed dynamic models. The resultant degradation model will serve as a base for prognosis. In the process of fault detection and isolation, the degradation models and faults are identified using a multiple-adaptive-hybrid-particle-swarm-optimization algorithm. The proposed methodology and algorithm are verified with simulation as well as experiments. View full abstract»

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  • Comparing Boosting and Bagging Techniques With Noisy and Imbalanced Data

    Page(s): 552 - 568
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (632 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper compares the performance of several boosting and bagging techniques in the context of learning from imbalanced and noisy binary-class data. Noise and class imbalance are two well-established data characteristics encountered in a wide range of data mining and machine learning initiatives. The learning algorithms studied in this paper, which include SMOTEBoost, RUSBoost, Exactly Balanced Bagging, and Roughly Balanced Bagging, combine boosting or bagging with data sampling to make them more effective when data are imbalanced. These techniques are evaluated in a comprehensive suite of experiments, for which nearly four million classification models were trained. All classifiers are assessed using seven different performance metrics, providing a complete perspective on the performance of these techniques, and results are tested for statistical significance via analysis-of-variance modeling. The experiments show that the bagging techniques generally outperform boosting, and hence in noisy data environments, bagging is the preferred method for handling class imbalance. View full abstract»

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  • Wearable Sensor-Based Hand Gesture and Daily Activity Recognition for Robot-Assisted Living

    Page(s): 569 - 573
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    In this paper, we address natural human-robot interaction (HRI) in a smart assisted living (SAIL) system for the elderly and the disabled. Two common HRI problems are studied: hand gesture recognition and daily activity recognition. For hand gesture recognition, we implemented a neural network for gesture spotting and a hierarchical hidden Markov model for context-based recognition. For daily activity recognition, a multisensor fusion scheme is developed to process motion data collected from the foot and the waist of a human subject. Experiments using a prototype wearable sensor system show the effectiveness and accuracy of our algorithms. View full abstract»

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  • ManuHub: A Semantic Web System for Ontology-Based Service Management in Distributed Manufacturing Environments

    Page(s): 574 - 582
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    This correspondence paper presents a prototype Semantic Web system called ManuHub (i.e., Manufacturing Hub) that administers distributed manufacturing services provided by ubiquitous virtual enterprises and allows a function of exploration with friendly graphical user interfaces. ManuHub is practical and useful in creating local manufacturing service hubs via ontology- and constraint-based modeling of the distributed manufacturing services and semantic annotation of the acquired manufacturing services. In particular, ManuHub facilitates efficient, accurate, and automatic retrieval of the required manufacturing services derived from the semantic matchmaking of manufacturing service capabilities. In other words, ManuHub functions as the “binding glue” between collaborative enterprises in order to achieve seamless manufacturing interoperability. The prototype system was built and evaluated with an example illustrated from manufacturing industries so as to demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed approach. View full abstract»

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  • Passive Versus Aggressive Strategies: A Game Theoretic Analysis of Military and Immune Defense

    Page(s): 583 - 588
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    This paper describes a basic passive-versus-aggressive defense model and analyzes it in terms of defense strategies against an intelligent enemy. In response to varying combinations of passive and aggressive defense, we assume that the enemy can up or down regulate the growth activity. This leads to a differential game formulation of battle scenarios. First, we examine military counterterrorist activities in a civilian population. We then consider immune defense against hepatitis B in the liver. The underlying principles in these two examples are similar, although the model features are slightly different. Simulation results are provided to demonstrate the benefits and limitations of the proposed model in terms of understanding biological systems and developing strategic army defense plans. View full abstract»

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  • Forward Kinematics Analysis of a Six-Degree-of-Freedom Stewart Platform Based on Independent Component Analysis and Nelder–Mead Algorithm

    Page(s): 589 - 597
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    This correspondence paper presents an algorithm in which the independent components of link lengths are used as a medium to analyze the forward kinematics of a six-degree-of-freedom Stewart platform. The link lengths are firstly transformed into independent components through independent component analysis. Then, the value of positional variables is computed by using the Nelder-Mead algorithm by taking advantage of the relationships between the independent components and the positional variables. Simulations have been conducted to test the proposed algorithm. The experimental results show that the proposed algorithm can achieve a better performance than the other published algorithms. View full abstract»

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  • An Efficient Rule-Based Constructive Heuristic to Solve Dynamic Weapon-Target Assignment Problem

    Page(s): 598 - 606
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    In this paper, we propose an efficient rule-based heuristic to solve asset-based dynamic weapon-target assignment (DWTA) problems. The main idea of the proposed heuristic is to utilize the domain knowledge of DWTA problems to directly achieve weapon assignment, without large number of function evaluations. We update the saturation states of constraints in the assignment process to guarantee the feasibility of generated solutions. For the purpose of testing the performance of the proposed heuristic, we build a general Monte Carlo simulation-based DWTA framework. For comparison, we also employ a Monte Carlo method (MCM) to make DWTA decisions in different defense scenarios. From simulations with DWTA instances under different scales, the heuristic has obvious advantages over the MCM with regard to solution quality and computation time. The proposed method can solve large-scale DWTA problems (e.g., those including 100 weapons, 100 targets, and four defense stages) within only a few seconds. View full abstract»

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  • Proven powerful [advertisement]

    Page(s): 607
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  • Special issue on multimodal human-robot interfaces

    Page(s): 608
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  • IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society Information

    Page(s): C3
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  • IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics—Part A: Systems and Humans Information for authors

    Page(s): C4
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Aims & Scope

The fields of systems engineering and human machine systems: systems engineering includes efforts that involve issue formulation, issue analysis and modeling, and decision making and issue interpretation at any of the lifecycle phases associated with the definition, development, and implementation of large systems.

 

This Transactions ceased production in 2012. The current retitled publication is IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Systems.

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Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Dr. Witold Pedrycz
University of Alberta