Conference Paper

Levels of automation and user control in use of an automatic turbine system.

Conference: ECCE 2009 - Designing beyond the Product - Understanding Activity and User Experience in Ubiquitous Environments, European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics 2009, Helsinki, Finland, September 30 - October 2, 2009
Source: DBLP


This paper describes an empirical field study performed in a nuclear power plant simulator control room and presents how the use of an automatic turbine system (ATS) affects nuclear power plant turbine operators' ability to stay in control during different levels of automation. The paper also presents how the operators cope with the automation interface and how their problem solving ability is affected by varying levels of automation. The Contextual Control Model (COCOM) was used to analyse the turbine operators' work with the ATS. The aims were to investigate how the ATS design support the turbine operators in their work in terms of monitoring and controlling the turbine process, and to identify possible improvements in the ATS user interface design. Seven turbine operators were interviewed during the simulator training session. The results of the interviews point out that automation related problems such as out-of-the-loop performance and loss of skills exist in the control room setting. The use of COCOM as a means for analysis provided explanations to these results and implied that time for evaluation is an important factor for effective performance. Finally, improving the visibility of the underlying program logic was found to be the most important measure to enhance the ATS interface.

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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies have shown that the perceived times of voluntary actions and their effects are perceived as shifted towards each other, so that the interval between action and outcome seems shortened. This has been referred to as 'intentional binding' (IB). However, the generality of this effect remains unclear. Here we demonstrate that Intentional Binding also occurs in complex control situations. Using an aircraft supervision task with different autopilot settings, our results first indicated a strong relation between measures of IB and different levels of system automation. Second, measures of IB were related to explicit agency judgement in this applied setting. We discuss the implications for the underlying mechanisms, and for sense of agency in automated environments.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2012 · PLoS ONE