HFES Presentation – “Modeling the Effects of Machine Rigidities on Joint Work Strategies”

Katie Albert, a CSEL MS student, presented a lecture on October 5th at the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 65th International Annual Meeting in Baltimore, MD. Katie’s paper is titled “Modeling the Effects of Machine Rigidities on Joint Work Strategies” and is co-authored by Dr. Martijn IJtsma. This presentation proposed representing the work domain as a network to identify interdependencies that support opportunistic adaptation.

You can view the presentation slides [Here], and the paper’s abstract below.

Abstract: One of the challenges in designing resilient human-machine systems is that machine capabilities are inherently rigid. A resilient joint cognitive system can anticipate and adapt to changing work demands effectively, but limitations of machines can make this adaptation constrained and less fluid. By identifying and accommodating for these rigidities in the design of human-machine system architectures, developers can build human-machine systems that support multiple contexts. This paper proposes a work-modeling approach for analyzing joint human-machine work strategies, focusing on identifying interdependencies that would support opportunistic adaptation and reduce the risk of machine rigidity leading to brittle failures of a human-machine system. The approach is applied to a case study in space operations to demonstrate how interdependencies can be identified and evaluated. The results of this analysis provide early insight into how team adaptation and machine limitations can be systematically accounted for in system architecture design.

The HFES 65th International Annual Meeting was held in Baltimore, MD, October 4-7, 2021. The 66th International Annual Meeting will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, October 2022.

Recommended Citation:

Albert, K., & IJtsma, M. (2021). Modeling the Effects of Machine Rigidities on Joint Work Strategies. Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. Presented 10/6/2021 in Baltimore,

Maryland, at the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 65th Annual Meeting

Healthcare Alarm Ontology and Science-based Design Improves Alarm Response

CSEL director Dr. Mike Rayo and eternal friend (and alumna!) of the lab Dr. Emily Patterson completed work on their recent P30 grant awarded from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) by publishing two papers, one with CSEL student C.J. Hansen, demonstrating the benefits of using the human factors and cogntive psychology literature to explicitly design a single alarm system that successfully conveys multiple human-triggered and machine-triggered events and their associated urgencies.

The overall study lays out the alarm ontology that was used to ensure that different alarm events could be discerned from each other and were not masked by environmental sounds or other alarms. It also describes the actual design decisions that were made to translate the ontology into actual alarm sounds and escalation strategies.
Link to study: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/00187208211018883 

The second study and paper demonstrates the effectiveness of the ontology in reducing the alarm response time for the most urgent alarms, specifially the Code Blue alarm which indicates that a patient is in cardiac arrest.
Link to study: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/00187208211032870

These studies are unique in that the results did not come from laboratory experiments, but by measuring alarm duration and observing alarm response throughtout a tertiary-care medical center spanning multiple hospitals and care settings. This required expertise in data science to collect, interpret, and analyze the data (thanks to co-author Dr. Ted Allen for his work in selecting and performing the most appropriate data analysis techniques). It also required a deep partnership between the research and the day-to-day operations of the medical center with support from the administration, spearheaded by co-authors Todd Yamokoski and Dr. Susan Moffatt-Bruce. We truly hope that this work inspires upcoming work on alarm design across multiple industries, helping us all grapple with the increasingly onerous alarm problems that the proliferation of beeping, booping, alarming devices is contributing to.

Students participate in 2020 Tau Beta Pi Undergraduate Research Forum Virtually

The College of Engineering, Knowlton School of Architecture and Tau Beta Pi partnered to hold the 11th Annual Undergraduate Research Forum for Engineering and Architecture students this April.

Following the measures taken by the university to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Undergraduate Research Forum on April 2, 2020 was cancelled, however, virtual presentations were accepted to be judged and receive awards.

Two Undergraduate Researchers in the Cognitive System Engineering Lab, Margaret Miles and Jonathan Dowling, participated in this event through a virutal walkthrough of their work under Dr. Martijn IJtsma. Their research, titled “Work Domain Analysis to Develop Scenarios for Resilient Unmanned Air Traffic Operations”, focused on the lab’s current work to integrate unmanned air vehicles safely and efficiently in Ohio’s airspace. Although in the early stages of the research, important progress was already made toward implementing important cognitive systems engineering principles prior to the development of a new air traffic management system. The ultimate goal of the project for the state of Ohio is to develop a new visual monitoring system integrated with unmanned aerial vehicles, current air traffic management, ground based detect and avoid systems, and weather.

The main point of the research was development of an abstraction hierarchy describing the system’s goals, functions, and physical form. Their abstract stated, “Using this system description, we will identify human performance issues, and develop scenarios and edge cases that challenge the system’s resilience. Accounting for the brittleness of the system in the edge cases is one of the pillars of resilience engineering, and allows the system to be robust in the phase of varying and uncertain demands. Findings from our abstraction hierarchy, scenarios and edge cases will ultimately support the development of an accurate simulation of the introduction of unmanned vehicles into airspace, and support our efforts to create a safe and efficient UTM system.”

This was the first research forum which these students were a part of and the first under the work of Dr. Martijn IJtsma. Their poster can be found below.

Using direct observations of front-line teams to support real-time machine fitness assessment

Morgan Reynolds and Dane Morey, both Ph.D. students and graduate research associates in CSEL, presented a poster on May 21, 2020, for the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) Healthcare Symposium. The poster is titled “Using direct observations of front-line teams to support real-time machine fitness assessment”. It presents some of the interesting patterns observed in human-human teams that pose challenges to the design of human-machine teams.