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On how constraints shape action
Linköping University, Department of Mechanical Engineering. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2005 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Understanding how joint systems of people and artifacts perform goal-directed action in a dynamic environment is essential for improving and supporting work. The literature on cognitive systems engineering and its related disciplines identifies the concept of constraint as an essential element in the analysis of systems in dynamic environments. These disciplines however offer differing definitions and ascribe different roles to constraints in (cognitive) systems analysis. This thesis distills from these perspectives on constraints the hypothesis that constraints shape action. It investigates empirically how constraints shape action in studies of two domains characterized by dynamic environments: driving and command and control.

The first study investigates the effect of the constraint of path width on steering behavior. It reviews research on the "law of steering"- the quantitative relationship between human temporal performance and the spatial characteristics of the movement path. It then extends the study of the law of steering to driving in virtual environments, within the field of human-computer interaction. Participants drove a virtual vehicle in a virtual environment on paths whose shape and width were systematically manipulated. Results showed that the law of steering indeed applies to locomotion in virtual environments. On average both the mean and the maximum speeds of the participants were linearly proportional to path width. Such regularity in human performance provides a quantitative tool for (3D) human machine interface design and evaluation.

The second study describes a method for the recognition of constraints in network-based command and control, and illustrates its application in an experimental study in a command and control microworld. The method uses goals-means task analysis to extract the essential variables that describe the behavior of a command and control team. It juxtaposes these variables in state space representations illustrating constraints and regions for opportunities for action. A series of examples shows how state spaces plots of experimental data can aid in the description of behavior vis-a-vis spatial and temporal resource constraints, and discusses how state space representations may be used to improve control in network-based command and control settings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet , 2005. , 51 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1221
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-31269Local ID: 17027ISBN: 91-85457-94-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-31269DiVA: diva2:252092
Note

LiU-Tek-Lic-2005:73

Available from: 2009-10-09 Created: 2009-10-09 Last updated: 2013-11-07
List of papers
1. Human Action Laws in Electronic Virtual Worlds: An Empirical Study of Path Steering Performance in VR
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Human Action Laws in Electronic Virtual Worlds: An Empirical Study of Path Steering Performance in VR
2004 (English)In: Presence - Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, ISSN 1054-7460, E-ISSN 1531-3263, Vol. 13, no 2, 113-127 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper is concerned with simple human performance “laws of action” for three classes of tasks—pointing, crossing, and steering, as well as their applications in Virtual Reality research. In comparison to Fitts' law of pointing, the “law of steering”— the quantitative relationship between human temporal performance and the movement path's spatial characteristics—has been notably under investigated. After a review of research on the law of steering in different domains and time periods, we examine the applicability of the law of steering in a VR locomotion task. Participants drove a virtual vehicle in a virtual environment on paths whose shape and width were systematically manipulated. Results showed that the law of steering indeed applies to locomotion in Virtual Environments. Participants' mean trial completion times linearly correlated (r2 between 0.985 and 0.999) with an index of difficulty quantified as path length to width ratio for the straight and circular paths used in this experiment. On average both the mean and the maximum speeds of the participants were linearly proportional to path width. Such human performance regularity provides a quantitative tool for 3D human-machine interface design and evaluation. We also propose to use the law-of-steering model in Virtual Reality manipulation tasks such as the “ring and wire” task in the future.

National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-23790 (URN)10.1162/1054746041382393 (DOI)3307 (Local ID)3307 (Archive number)3307 (OAI)
Available from: 2009-10-07 Created: 2009-10-07 Last updated: 2017-12-13
2. Constraint recognition in a fire-fighting microworld study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Constraint recognition in a fire-fighting microworld study
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper describes a method for the recognition of constraints in network-based command and control, and illustrates its application in an experimental study in a command and control microworld. The method uses goals-means test analysis to extract the essential variables that describe the behavior of a command and control team. It juxtaposes these variables in state space representations illustrating constraints and regions for opportunities for action. A series of examples shows how state spaces plots of experimental data can aid in the description of bavior vis-é-vis constraints, and discusses how state space representations may be used o improve control in network-based command and control settings.

National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-100441 (URN)
Available from: 2013-11-07 Created: 2013-11-07 Last updated: 2013-11-07

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Woltjer, Rogier

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