Joint control in dynamic situations

University dissertation from Institutionen för datavetenskap

Abstract: This thesis focuses on the cooperative and communicative aspects of control over dynamic situations such as emergency management and military operations. Taking a stance in Cognitive Systems Engineering, Decision making and Communication studies, the role of information systems as tools for communication in dynamic situations is examined. Three research questions are examined; 1 ) How new forms of information technology affects joint control tasks in dynamic situations, and how/if microworld simulations can be used to investigate this. 2 ) What the characteristics of actual use of information systems for joint control are in dynamic situations? 3 ) What the pre-requisites are for efficient communicationin joint control tasks and especially in dynamic, high-risk situations?Four papers are included. A study performed with a microworld simulation involving military officers as participants is presented, and the method of using microworlds for investigating the effects of new technology is discussed. Field observations from an emergency call centre are used to exemplify how information systems actually are used in a cooperative task. An interview study with military officers from a UN-mission describes the social aspects of human-human communication in a dynamic, high risk environment.Finally, an elaborated perspective on the role of information systems as tools for communication, and especially the relation between the social, organisational and technical layers of a joint control activity is presented.

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