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Common Ground and Coordination in Joint Activity

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Common Ground and Coordination in Joint Activity

Abstract

Generalizing the concepts of joint activity developed by Clark (1996), we describe key aspects of team coordination. Joint activity depends on interpredictability of the participants' attitudes and actions. Such interpredictability is based on common ground-pertinent knowledge, beliefs, and assumptions that are shared among the involved parties. Joint activity assumes a basic compact, which is an agreement (often tacit) to facilitate coordination and prevent its breakdown. One aspect of the Basic Compact is the commitment to some degree of aligning multiple goals. A second aspect is that all parties are expected to bear their portion of the responsibility to establish and sustain common ground and to repair it as needed. We apply our understanding of these features of joint activity to account for issues in the design of automation. Research in software and robotic agents seeks to understand and satisfy requirements for the basic aspects of joint activity. Given the widespread demand for increasing the effectiveness of team play for complex systems that work closely and collaboratively with people, observed shortfalls in these current research efforts are ripe for further exploration and study.
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... The NDM research and literature focus on individual decisions and less on small groups of decision makers whose actions are intertwined, which is the situation faced in the research. Klein, Feltovich, Bradshaw, and Woods (2005) provide insights into joint activity based on common goals, expanding aspects of Klein's original RPD model (1999), but concede shared decision making is a gap in current research efforts. Whilst the discussion of a team metacognition articulates how different operators may expect what each other's actions will be, it does not articulate the way decisions are correctly reinforced or led astray under pressure based on high confidence in the wrong cues. ...
... Goals which make sense to decision makers allow them to recognise a situation and set priorities (Klein, 1999). When interacting decision makers have a common goals, they are more likely to converge on a similar trajectory (Klein et al., 2005). ...
... where decisions makers can reasonably predict each other's actions by signalling and interpreting their intentions (Klein et al., 2005). During interactions the coordination of mining vehicle interaction sequences requires multiple sequential shared goals, which act as gates for each step in the sequence (e.g. ...
Thesis
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One of the most significant hazards workers face in the open cut mining sector is the potential for mining vehicle accidents; vehicle collisions result in 10 to 20 deaths annually within Australia. Mining vehicle interactions rely on operator decision making with no higher order controls to manage hazards associated with accidents. Hazards relate to the size and visibility of the vehicles, as well as the time they need to move around each other. Based on existing naturalistic decision making (NDM) theory, the research proposed two questions to explore the relationship between shared operator decision making and safe vehicle interactions: 1. How do operators make decisions during vehicle interactions? 2. How can shared operator decision making be influenced for safer vehicle interactions? An inductive approach was used to investigate the phenomenon which provided deep insight into individual operator decision making, by comparing individual operator decision making, and shared operator decision making. As a multimethod approach, naturalistic observations of mining vehicle operators and analysis of historical data sets (e.g. incident statements, historical focus group data and company procedures) were used to understand both normal interactions and accidents. Answering the first research question, the recognition primed decision (RPD) model was used as a theoretical frame to describe operator decision making for each vehicle interaction as the various dimensions of the model aligned closely with aspects of mining vehicle interactions. This study found that normal interactions occur when operators share decision making, linked to the same understanding of cues, interaction patterns and mental simulations, resulting in expected operator action scripts. Vehicle collisions are more likely to result when there is a breakdown of shared decision making, resulting in vehicle collision pathways which are either not recognised by one or both operators, or recognised too late for adjustment as operators run out of time to take evasive action. Answering the second research question, thematic analysis extended current NDM literature, identifying the four themes which influence shared decision making: 1. The timing of cues is important, however, as most interaction cues are passive, they may go unnoticed. Where cues are not adequately specified, there is a greater likelihood that operators will use the wrong cues to make only partially informed decisions. This emphasizes the need to ensure cues are contextually simple, salient and timely (e.g. specific light signals, defining the boundaries of work areas, triggers for the use of radio communication). 2. Collectively, if pairs of interacting operators imagine the same patterns from the cues they notice, it is more likely they share mental models. This emphasizes the need for operators to develop homogeneity of expert mental models, an understanding of common tasks and communication (e.g. training which reinforces routine interaction patterns). 3. Uncertainty reduces operators' confidence in a situation, driving them to imagine how interaction sequences may go wrong before they act, so they may slow down to obtain more information. This emphasizes the need for operators to agree on how a shared goal will allow the coordination of interdependent activities (e.g. formal and informal discussion on the meaning of cues and patterns). 4. As the complexity of interactions increase it is harder for operators to maintain cue-action relationships. Misunderstandings are problematic when operators are working closely together, and space and time are limited. This emphasizes the need to increase the adaptive capacity of situations to make them more resilient (e.g. by identifying and controlling 'choke points' by limiting vehicle speed, or the number of vehicles in an area). Contrasting current approaches within industry, the research demonstrates that the position of social constructionism provides different insights to that of positivism. Specifically, the research makes a number of contributions to current NDM literature by investigating shared decision making. Contrary to the current NDM research, which tends to assume that interacting decision makers act as individuals in isolation, the research shows that four additional theoretical frameworks are required to understand how decision makers collaborate to achieve common goals. 1. Team situational awareness provides a stronger position, highlighting the need for shared displays which provide decision makers with the right information from their own perspectives. 2. Analysis implies that decision makers in a common environment largely have shared mental models, but that the alignment of mental models in a temporal sequence can result in misunderstandings. 3. Sensemaking is more complex in shared decision making and requires decision makers to constantly search for uncertainty, cross-checking each other's actions to ensure they have the same goal. 4. Human error is inherent to shared decision making, resulting from the need to make approximate adjustments toward common goals. The environment in which shared decision making takes place requires an appropriate degree of adaptive capacity. The research includes three limitations. Firstly, the interpretation of data was restricted to the researcher's perspective of naturalistic observations and historical document analysis. Secondly, social reactivity may have influenced operator behaviours during naturalistic observations. Thirdly, the accuracy of the organisation's self-reporting. The research included reflexivity, member checking and triangulation to reduce the risk of these limitations. The research offers considerable insight into current NDM literature, finding that additional prerequisites must be satisfied for decision makers to successfully achieve common goals. The research provides theoretical and practical contributions for both researchers and practitioners to positively influence shared decision making in high risk operational environments. ii Declaration I certify that except where due acknowledgement has been made, the work is that of the author alone; the work has not been submitted previously, in whole or in part, to qualify for any other academic award; the content of the thesis is the result of work which has been carried out since the official commencement date of the approved research program; any editorial work, paid or unpaid, carried out by a third party is acknowledged; and, ethics procedures and guidelines have been followed.
... Managing individuals, teams, and conflicts within the system's goals, recognizing changes in a dynamic working environment, and dealing with uncertainties are issues beyond the boundaries of standard EM procedures. In particular, among the most critical aspects that contribute to resilience in an ERO are distributed situational awareness (SA) (Salmon et al., 2009), interaction, and effective coordination (Christensen & Laegreid, 2019;Klein et al., 2005;Steen & Rønningsbakk, 2021;Wolbers et al., 2018), adaption and improvisation (Woods & Branlat, 2011), and reliable communication (Rivera & Kapucu, 2015;Shittu et al., 2018) between the stakeholders involved. ...
... Alongside complexity, the issue of uncertainty causes a challenging atmosphere for coordination, which should be empowered by robustness. Klein et al. (2005) point to a set of concepts that have a crucial role in coordinating joint activity, and the authors categorize them in three aspects: (i) Criteria for collaborative efforts, including basic compact (an expectation that the parties have a continuously reinforced agreement and are committed to some degree of goal alignment) and ...
Article
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Standard emergency‐management procedures offer guidance on how organizations can improve their handling of all types of emergencies. However, such a generalization undermines uncertainties and oversimplifies the complexity of real work practices during an emergency response operation (ERO). The handling of the COVID‐19 pandemic highlights how uncertainty and escalating consequences reinforce the need for resilience in EROs. To illustrate the key elements of our suggested approach and its practical implications, we discuss the issues in light of a case study related to a COVID‐19 outbreak on a floating oil rig in the North Sea. The analysis reveals several instances of creative problem solving, and individual and collective efforts beyond the scope of the standard procedures. It also underlines how the shortcomings of resource allocation and over‐planning might lead to inflexibility, thus harming EROs' efficiency. Our analysis highlights that the key to resilient EROs lies in robust coordination, the ability to improvise, transparency, and trusting communication between the actors involved. Greater focus on network building—proactively maintained through regular training and exercise activities—strengthens resilience in emergency‐management systems. All these traits link to the Norwegian term “samhandling,” a notion which is here proposed to summarize and connect these resilience capacities.
... As Renner and Johansson (2006) noted, applying a single-driver perspective offers only a limited understanding on how drivers coordinate their driving in a traffic situation with multiple road users. To this end, they proposed a model based on the interpredictability of participants' attitudes and actions derived from the concept of joint-activity developed by Clark (1996) and further elaborated by Klein et al. (2005). ...
... When more than two road users involved, negotiation of vehicles' crossing order can be more properly described as coordination of road users in a joint activity rather than as 'Chicken' game (Fox et al. 2018), in the sense that, the involved road users appear to co-form expectations of what is appropriate and acceptable behaviour at a given traffic setting based on shared knowledge of social norms and aided by shared scripts (Klein et al. 2005;Renner and Johansson 2006). ...
Preprint
In this study, analysis of crossing episodes between two intersecting vehicles, in which a third road user clearly affected its evolution, was conducted in an attempt to identify (i) recurring patterns of non-regulatory coordination among the road users involved and (ii) traffic situational invariances that eventually can be used by AVs to predict and comply to such patterns. The term BLOCK-EXPLOITING is introduced to describe a driver’s active search to exploit situational opportunities offered to gain priority often contrary to regulatory provisions. Depending on the situation, such behaviour may present advantages in terms of traffic efficiency. Video-data from an urban stop-controlled intersection were collected and analysed using a phenomenological framework developed in this study. Four generic types of BLOCK-EXPLOITING behaviour were identified (i.e. piggybacking, sneaking, covering, ghost-covering). It is advocated that such behaviours can be socially acceptable provided that BLOCK-EXPLOITERs’ actions are timely, inter-predictable and, not endangering to others. Proposed design challenges for AVs in mixed traffic stemming from this study include the ability to (i) distinguish BLOCK-EXPLOITING form errant driving behaviour, (ii) recognise to whom a ‘space-offering’ is addressed, as well as (iii) track the local history among the road users involved in a developing episode for assessing the appropriateness or abusiveness of a BLOCK-EXPLOITING action.
... Several of these guidelines were driven by ield research on how human teams and teaming of human and technological agents work together under varying and uncertain demands. For example, Klein, Feltovich, Bradshaw, and Woods [29] describe requirements for coordination in teams (human or human-machine), including interpredictability, common ground, and directability. Through work analysis or work design, human-robot teaming from the CSE perspective deliberately considers the cognitive work even before getting into the analysis or design of interfaces, algorithms, or robotic capabilities. ...
... For an overview of speciic CSE metrics in each of these categories, we refer the reader to [16]. Likewise, partially derived from CSE principles [29], Johnson et al. [27] proposed metrics based on interdependence between human and robotic agents. Several of the categories mentioned hereśprimarily created in the context of human-automation interaction and not discussed in human-robot teaming contextsś served as inspiration for the teamwork metrics proposed later in this article. ...
Article
Metrics for human-robot teaming should extend to teams consisting of multiple human and robotic agents, and to teams working in complex, dynamic work domains. This work proposes that to comprehensively analyze and evaluate multi-human, multi-robot teams, traditional HRI metrics of performance and efficiency must be expanded upon to incorporate metrics of teamwork. We develop five distinct metrics to capture both ecological and cognitive aspects of teamwork found to be important in human-automation interaction, inspired by research in the cognitive systems engineering community. We demonstrate the application of these metrics in a spacecraft maintenance case study comparing multiple human-robot team architectures. The case study demonstrates that the teamwork metrics capture aspects of human-robot interaction not apparent when using only traditional performance and efficiency metrics. The paper concludes that the proposed teamwork metrics are complementary to existing metrics in HRI and should be included in the evaluation of human-robot teams.
... Coordination helps support and share resources and interactions among one another [4]. Coordination further prevents breakdowns by managing dependencies between activities to accomplish goals [5]. ...
Conference Paper
View Video Presentation: https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2022-3620.vid Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM) provides traffic services to low-altitude UASs. Contingency management in UTM involves multiple interdependent roles and organizations that need to coordinate with one another under time pressure and uncertainty. This paper describes the results of a Cognitive Task Analysis (CTA) to explore challenges and identify needs for supporting coordination across various roles during contingency management in future UTM operations. Edge case scenarios were developed to support realistic operations and potential challenges in the system. Subject-matter experts in the aviation industry and research sectors were interviewed using these edge case scenarios. The CTA revealed coordination strategies, work domain characteristics and constraints, information needs, and complicating factors for the cognitive work involved in UTM contingency management. Insights from the study point to future research and development needs for supporting explicit, flexible, and efficient modes of communication between various roles, sufficient control authority support human expertise and custom responses, and mechanisms for increasing predictability and implicit coordination.
... Knowing this, the only model of a human system is the system itself. We assume that there is a basic shared model of operation such as common ground in joint activity (Klein et al, 2005) between different actors. The basic model of operation consists of two interdependent processes. ...
... While response has well-defined goals (e.g., save lives, environment and properties), recovery is more fuzzy [20]. The primary objective of recovery is bouncing back to normal operations, by means of interaction and effective coordination [21][22][23], along with reliable communication [24]. Recovery depends on temporal (pace) and spatial (place) settings [25]. ...
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... Mutual transparency, where both human and autonomous team members convey the reasoning behind their actions to each other, enables both the human and agentic teammates to collaborate effectively and support a shared mental model of the task environment (Chen et al., 2018;Wang et al., 2016). The key to developing and maintaining mutual transparency is the team's communications (Klein et al., 2005). However, more information from the agent may not necessarily result in improved performance and perceptions for the human. ...
Book
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