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Design of a Real Time Visual Analytics Support Tool for Conflict Detection and Resolution in Air Traffic Control
Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Media and Information Technology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Media and Information Technology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0646-0388
Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Media and Information Technology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8862-7331
Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Media and Information Technology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9466-9826
2020 (English)In: EuroVis 2020 - Short Papers, Eurographics - European Association for Computer Graphics, 2020Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Air traffic control is a safety critical high-risk environment where operators need to analyse and interpret traffic dynamics of spatio-temporal data in real-time. To support the air traffic controller in safely separating traffic, earlier research has applied real-time visualisation techniques that explore the constraints and solution spaces of separation problems. Traditionally, situation displays for conflict detection and resolution have used visualisations that convey information about the relative horizontal position between aircraft. Although vertical solutions for solving conflicts are common, and often a preferred among controllers, visualisations typically provide limited information about the vertical relationship between aircraft. This paper presents a design study of an interactive conflict detection and resolution support tool and explores techniques for real-time visualisation of spatio-temporal data. The design evolution has incorporated several activities, including an initial work domain analysis, iterative rounds of programming, design, and evaluations with a domain expert, and an evaluation with eight active controllers. The heading-time-altitude visualisation system is developed based on formulating and solving aircraft movements in a relative coordinate system. A polar-graph visualisation technique is used to construct a view of conflicting aircraft vertical solution spaces in the temporal domain. Using composite glyphs, the final heading-time-altitude visualisation provides a graphical representation of both horizontal and vertical solution spaces for the traffic situation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Eurographics - European Association for Computer Graphics, 2020.
National Category
Media and Communication Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-179234DOI: 10.2312/evs.20201044OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-179234DiVA, id: diva2:1594093
Conference
EuroVis, Norrköping, Sweden, May 25-29, 2020
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilAvailable from: 2021-09-14 Created: 2021-09-14 Last updated: 2022-09-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Real-Time Visual Analytics Interfaces to Strengthen Human-Automation Collaboration
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Real-Time Visual Analytics Interfaces to Strengthen Human-Automation Collaboration
2022 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Automation in today’s world supports human operators to accomplish several tasks in limited time. With more advanced automation and autonomous systems, the hu-mans’ role is shifting from hands-on operational tasks to supervisory tasks. In complex environments such as air traffic control, supervisory tasks become difficult to manage during unexpected situations as the operator needs to have a clear understanding of various resolution strategies and their consequences and make decisions about them in a limited amount of time (i.e. within a couple of minutes). In such environments, interface designers must carefully consider how information should be presented to the operators. An improper way of presenting information could, wastefully consume operators’ cognitive resources resulting in inefficient decision-making and an increased risk of failure. 

By designing ecological visual analytics interfaces, this thesis addresses the problem of real-time decision-making in the domain of air traffic control. The aim of this thesis has been to apply ecological design theories to the design and evaluation of visual representations to better support controllers’ analytical capabilities and decision-making. Four novel visual analytics interfaces were designed, developed, and tested over the course of this research project. To understand how the designed visual representations affected the operators’ decision-making processes, evaluation studies with air traffic controllers as well as novices without ATC experience were conducted for two of the designed interfaces and the results were analyzed. 

The contribution of this thesis to the field of air traffic control and visualization design is fourfold. First, the thesis contributes knowledge on what information should be visualized and how, to achieve functional goals of conflict detection and resolution task of air traffic control. Second, evolved through a series of design studies, a final interactive visual analytics interface is proposed that visualizes information about the available solution space for solving conflict situations between airborne traffic and the traffic complexity. The interface supports controllers’ decision-making process for resolving conflicts and ability to reduce the traffic complexity. Third, the method developed for evaluating the interface designs contribute with knowledge on how interfaces tailored to safety-critical systems can be tested. Fourth, findings show that the integration of ecological interface design with the development of visual representations can shape novice and expert operators’ decision-making towards domain-specific functional goals, while allowing them to follow their own problem-solving strategies. 

Abstract [sv]

Automation hjälper mänskliga operatörer att utföra uppgifter parallellt, på begränsad tid. Med mer avancerad automation och autonoma system förändras människans roll, och går över från mer direkt kontroll till övervakning- och intervention. I komplexa miljöer som flygledning, blir övervakningsuppgifter svåra att hantera under oväntade situationer eftersom operatören behöver ha en klar förståelse för olika strategier, deras konsekvenser, och fatta beslut om dem under en begränsad tid (inom ett par minuter). I sådana miljöer måste en visualiseringsdesigner noga överväga hur information ska presenteras för operatörerna. Ett felaktigt sätt att presentera information belastar operatörernas kognitiva resurser, vilket leder till ineffektivt beslutsfattande och en ökad risk för misslyckanden.  

Genom att utforma ekologiska visuella analytiska gränssnitt tar denna avhandling upp problemet med beslutsfattande i realtid, i oplanerade situationer, inom området för flygledning. Syftet med denna avhandling har varit att tillämpa ekologiska designteorier på design och utvärdering av visuella representationer. Målet var att bättre stödja operatörers analytiska förmåga och beslutsfattande. Fyra nya visuella analysgränssnitt utformades, utvecklades och testades. För att förstå hur de visuella representationerna påverkade operatörernas beslutsprocesser genomfördes utvärderingsstudier med såväl flygledare som nybörjare utan domänerfarenhet för två av gränssnitten och resultaten analyserades.  

Avhandlingen ger fyra bidrag till området flygledning och till området visualiseringsdesign. För det första bidrar den med kunskap om vilken information som ska visualiseras och hur man uppnår funktionella mål för att upptäcka och lösa konflikter i flygledning. För det andra, utvecklat genom en serie designstudier, föreslås ett interaktivt visuellt analytiskt gränssnitt. Det visualiserar information om det tillgängliga lösningsutrymmet för att lösa konfliktsituationer mellan luftburen trafik, samt visar trafikens komplexitet. Gränssnittet utformades för att stödja beslutsprocesser för att lösa konflikter och för att minska komplexitet i trafik. För det tredje bidrar den metod som utvecklats för att utvärdera gränssnittsdesignerna, med kunskap om hur gränssnitt skräddarsydda för säkerhetskritiska system kan testas. För det fjärde bidrar avhandlingen med resultat angående integrationen av ekologisk gränssnittsdesign med utveckling av visuella representationer. Den visar hur gränssnitten kan påverka nybörjare och operatörers (experters) beslutsfattande angående domänspecifika funktionella mål, samtidigt som gränssnitten tillåter dem att följa sina egna problemlösningsstrategier.   

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2022. p. 106
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 2257
Keywords
Abstraction hierarchy, Angular timeline visualization, Air traffic complexity, Air traffic control, Air traffic controller, Conflict detection and resolution, Ecological interface design, Focus context visualization, Human-automation collaboration, Human–computer interaction, Information visualization, Interaction, Rate of climb or descent, Research through design, Safety-critical systems, Visual analytics, Visualization, Visualization design and evaluation methods, Work domain analysis
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-188501 (URN)10.3384/9789179294908 (DOI)9789179294892 (ISBN)9789179294908 (ISBN)
Public defence
2022-10-11, Domteatern, Visualiseringscenter C., Kungsgatan 54, Norrköping, 09:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2022-09-14 Created: 2022-09-14 Last updated: 2022-09-14Bibliographically approved

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Zohrevandi, ElmiraWestin, CarlLundberg, JonasYnnerman, Anders

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