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GMOC: A conceptual model for human control of dynamic systems, applied to train traffic control
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Division of Visual Information and Interaction. (Future Train Traffic Control)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Division of Visual Information and Interaction. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computerized Image Analysis and Human-Computer Interaction.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Division of Visual Information and Interaction. (Future Train Traffic Control)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Division of Visual Information and Interaction. (Future Train Traffic Control)
(English)In: Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
Abstract [en]

When developing new control systems and user interfaces for human operators, a deep understanding of their work is essential in order to build support systems that improve important aspects of work, such as safety, efficiency, satisfaction and development of skills. Many methods for analysis of human work exist, but these are often complex and lead to results that do not fully support the design and development process. We introduce GMOC, a conceptual model that contains necessary components to describe and analyse human control work. This model also supports design and development of new control systems, based on identification of problems in the current environment. The GMOC model is discussed in relation to existing theories about human control and design for skilled professionals. Detailed examples of its application to operational train traffic control are presented.

Keyword [en]
human control; process control; operator interfaces; user-centred system development; train traffic control
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Research subject
Human-Computer Interaction; Computer Science with specialization in Human-Computer Interaction
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-246718OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-246718DiVA: diva2:793959
Projects
KAJTFuture Train Traffic Control
Available from: 2015-03-09 Created: 2015-03-09 Last updated: 2017-12-12
In thesis
1. The GMOC Model: Supporting Development of Systems for Human Control
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The GMOC Model: Supporting Development of Systems for Human Control
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Train traffic control is a complex task in a dynamic environment. Different actors have to cooperate to meet strong requirements regarding safety, punctuality, capacity utilization, energy consumption, and more. The GMOC model has been developed and utilized in a number of studies in several different areas. This thesis describes GMOC and uses train traffic control as the application area for evaluating its utility.

The GMOC model has its origin in control theory and relates to concepts of dynamic decision making. Human operators in complex, dynamic control environments must have clear goals, reflecting states to reach or to keep a system in. Mental models contain the operator’s knowledge about the task, the process, and the control environment. Systems have to provide observability, means for the operator to observe the system’s states and dynamics, and controllability, allowing the operators to influence the system’s states. GMOC allows us to constructively describe complex environments, focusing on all relevant parts. It can be utilized in user-centred system design to analyse existing systems, and design and evaluate future control systems.

Our application of GMOC shows that automation providing clear observability and sufficient controllability is seen as transparent and most helpful. GMOC also helps us to argue for visualization that rather displays the whole complexity of a process than tries to hide it.

Our studies in train traffic control show that GMOC is useful to analyse complex work situations. We identified the need to introduce a new control strategy improving the traffic plan by supporting planning ahead. Using GMOC, we designed STEG, an interface implementing this strategy. Improvements that have been done to observability helped the operators to develop more adequate mental models, reducing use of cognitive capacity but increasing precision of the operative traffic plans. In order to improve the traffic controllers’ controllability, one needs to introduce and share a real-time traffic plan, and provide the train drivers with up-to-date information on the surrounding traffic. Our studies indicate that driver advisory systems, including such information, reduce the need for traffic re-planning, improve energy consumption, and increase quality and capacity of train traffic.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2015. 158 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1237
Keyword
Human-Computer Interaction, User-Centered Design, Human Control, Train Traffic Control, Usability, System Development, Human Work, Railway Traffic, Rail Human Factors, Mental Models, Situation Awareness
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Research subject
Computer Science with specialization in Human-Computer Interaction
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-246719 (URN)978-91-554-9192-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-05-04, Room 2446, Polacksbacken, Lägerhyddsvägen 2, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
KAJTFTTS
Funder
EU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, FP7-SCP01-GA-2011-285243
Available from: 2015-04-10 Created: 2015-03-09 Last updated: 2015-04-17Bibliographically approved

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Tschirner, SimonJansson, AndersSandblad, BengtAndersson, Arne W

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