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Task Analytic Models to Guide Analysis and Design: Use of the Operator Function Model to Represent Pilot-Autoflight System Mode ProblemsTask-analytic models structure essential information about operator interaction with complex systems, in this case pilot interaction with the autoflight system. Such models serve two purposes: (1) they allow researchers and practitioners to understand pilots' actions; and (2) they provide a compact, computational representation needed to design 'intelligent' aids, e.g., displays, assistants, and training systems. This paper demonstrates the use of the operator function model to trace the process of mode engagements while a pilot is controlling an aircraft via the, autoflight system. The operator function model is a normative and nondeterministic model of how a well-trained, well-motivated operator manages multiple concurrent activities for effective real-time control. For each function, the model links the pilot's actions with the required information. Using the operator function model, this paper describes several mode engagement scenarios. These scenarios were observed and documented during a field study that focused on mode engagements and mode transitions during normal line operations. Data including time, ATC clearances, altitude, system states, and active modes and sub-modes, engagement of modes, were recorded during sixty-six flights. Using these data, seven prototypical mode engagement scenarios were extracted. One scenario details the decision of the crew to disengage a fully automatic mode in favor of a semi-automatic mode, and the consequences of this action. Another describes a mode error involving updating aircraft speed following the engagement of a speed submode. Other scenarios detail mode confusion at various phases of the flight. This analysis uses the operator function model to identify three aspects of mode engagement: (1) the progress of pilot-aircraft-autoflight system interaction; (2) control/display information required to perform mode management activities; and (3) the potential cause(s) of mode confusion. The goal of this paper is twofold: (1) to demonstrate the use of the operator functio model methodology to describe pilot-system interaction while engaging modes And monitoring the system, and (2) to initiate a discussion of how task-analytic models might inform design processes. While the operator function model is only one type of task-analytic representation, the hypothesis of this paper is that some type of task analytic structure is a prerequisite for the design of effective human-automation interaction.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Degani, Asaf
Mitchell, Christine M.
Chappell, Alan R.
Shafto, Mike
Date Acquired
August 20, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1995
Subject Category
Man/System Technology and Life Support
Meeting Information
8th Aviation Psychology Conference(Columbus, OH)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.