Adonis Diaries

What’s this concept of Human Factors in design? (continue)

Posted on: October 5, 2008

“Let me try an alternative taxonomy of methods.” (April 10, 2005)

Article #14

Here is this famous list of a few methods that you may encounter to quantifying human potentials:  verbal protocol, neural network, fuzzy logic, utility theory, preference judgments, psychophysical methods, operational analysis, operational research, activity analysis, critical incident study, functional flow, decision action analysis, task analysis, fault tree diagrams, failure mode and effects analysis, time line analysis, link analysis, simulation, prototyping, controlled experimentation, workload analysis, information theory, cost/benefit methods and expert systems.

Just wait, let me resume. How about methods like artificial intelligence, robotics, discrimination nets, pattern matching, knowledge representation, frames, schemata, semantic network, relational databases, searching methods, zero-sum games theory, logical reasoning methods, probabilistic reasoning, learning methods, natural language understanding, image formation and acquisition, connectedness, cellular logic, problem solving techniques, means-end analysis, geometric reasoning system, algebraic reasoning system. 

If your education is multidisciplinary you may catalogue the above methods according to specialty disciplines such as: artificial intelligence, robotics, econometrics, marketing, human factors, industrial engineering, other engineering majors, psychology or mathematics.

You may also group these methods according to their mathematical branches of reasoning or logics or probability. You may collect them as to their statistical sampling methods or probabilistic characters.

You may bundle these methods on qualitative or quantitative values. You may as well separate them on their primitive values or modern techniques or technologies.

You may select them as to state of the art methods or ancient methods that new information and new paradigms have refuted their validity.

You may define the methods as those digitally or analytically amenable to solving problems.

You may choose to draw several lists of those methods that are economically sounds, esoteric, or just plainly fuzzy sounding.

You may opt to differentiate these methods on requiring high level of mathematical reasoning that are out of your capability and those that can be comprehended through persistent efforts.

You could as well sort them according to which ones fit nicely into the courses that you have already taken but failed to recollect that they were indeed methods worth acquiring for your career.

You may use any of these taxonomies to answer an optional exam question with no guarantees that you might get a substantial grade.

It would be interesting to collect statistics on how often these methods are being used, by whom, for what rational and by which line of business and by which universities.

It would be interesting to translate these methods into Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Hindu, Spanish, Russian and Dutch but never in French.

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October 2008

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