Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘human capabilities

 “What other taxonomies are necessary in HF and what methods are used?”

Article #13; (April 10, 2005) 

The follow up question is: how can we conceive practical human error taxonomy before working taxonomies for the tasks required in a system?  If the types and skills required by an operators to perform a set of tasks are not well defined and studied then, it is not that useful to apply a complex and general error taxonomy that does not delineate the applicable domain. 

How can we allocate functions to either operators or machines, which means how can we decided who is better at performing a set of tasks an automated machine or a trained operator, if we cannot classify the human capabilities and limitations versus the potential capabilities and limitations of the machine we intend to design?

The current technology can automate the travel of airplanes from take off, to cruising and to landing without the need of a pilot. The obvious problem is who in his right mind would board an airplane without a certified pilot and a co-pilot?

It seems that in Japan, fast trains have no train pilot aboard but are controlled before reaching destinations.  In this case, passengers are taking these trains but would rather be doubly secured by having trained pilots on board no matter the extremely high safety records of these automated trains.

Nowadays, most of these functions and task allocations are done by computer programs with the hope that an expert professional is going to take serious time to analyze the printouts and provide a judicious human feedback. These computer programs have, crossing our fingers, the necessary constraints on safety standards, health standards, serious errors restrictions and labor requirements for the least.

This is not a futile reasoning on who comes first, the error taxonomy or task taxonomy because the consequences are not that futile on operators, end users and the whole performance of systems.  

When it comes to designing complex systems practical task and error taxonomies that delineate the domain of the operation and execution of a system is evident and time is of the essence.

In the next article I am going to let you have a hand at classifying methods by providing you with a list of various Human Factors methods.  This list of methods is not necessarily randomized but thrown in without much order; otherwise it will not be an excellent exercise. 

First, let us agree that a method is a procedure or a set of step by step process that our for runners of genius and scholars have tested, found it good, agreed on it on a consensus basis and offered it for you to use for the benefit of progress and science. 

Many of you will still try hard to find short cuts to anything, including methods, for the petty argument that the best criterion to discriminating among clever people is who waste time on methods and whom are nerds.

Actually, the main reason I don’t try to teach new methods in this course is that students might smack run into a real occupational stress which they are not immune of.

Learning information in a thousand page course materials is one thing but having to use completely new methods as how to design, conduct and run experiments and statistically analyze data for a system behavior would be too much of a stress and diligent students might go overboard and straight to a mental rehabilitation institution.




October 2022

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