Modelling human-machine cooperation for human-centred ship bridge design

Christian Denker, Cilli Sobiech, Henning Mextorf, Gary Randall, Paul Allen, Tommy Mikkelsen, Eugen Adami, Denis Javaux
Proceedings of the 5th Transport Research Arena Conference
The development of ship bridge systems, workstations and displays on the one hand and bridge procedures on the other hand is characterized by being non-harmonious and far from optimal design for the actual users of them. Existing regulations for system and procedure design are disconnected and defined on a level which is not informative for bridge design. Research has shown clearly, that in many cases, accidents and incidents were caused by human error due to non-optimal design of the human-machine interaction leading to degraded situation awareness.Yet, the ability of ship's personnel to co-ordinate activities and communicate effectively with each other is vital during emergency situations. Also during routine sea passages or port approaches the bridge personnel must work as an effective team. Thus, bridge design should consider cognitive capacities of humans and nature of the tasks at hand as high workload and decreased situation awareness can lead to “human-out-of-the-loop” situations. CASCADe (FP7-SST.2012.4.1-1) addresses study and design of bridges as an integrated whole to improve overall safety and resilience on ship bridges. In CASCADe, Model-based Cooperative and Adaptive Ship-based Context Aware Design, the ship bridge is seen as a cooperative socio-technical system. This system consists of the ship bridge as a technical system and control centre of the ship, where cooperative decision making between crew members, human-machine interaction as well as communication with other ships, the shipping company or VTS stations is involved. We use the human-centred design methodology to develop an Adaptive Bridge System (ABS) to permanently or semi-permanently adapt the information content, distribution and presentation on the user interfaces to the current context, procedures and the individual seafarer. Besides the Physical Simulation Platform of the ABS, a full-scale bridge simulator, we develop a behaviourally equivalent Virtual Simulation Platform that is purely based on models of the human and machine agents, tasks and resources. The Virtual Simulation Platform allows us to evaluate bridge designs at early design stages by using cognitive models of virtual seafarers which mimic decision making and situation awareness processes of real human seafarers. In addition to experiments with real seafarers on the Physical Simulation Platform, the Virtual Simulation Platform facilitates simulating many more scenarios and investigation of extreme scenarios. The human-centred design methodology and the development of cognitive models of virtual seafarer for the Virtual Simulation Platform in the framework of CASCADe will be presented during our talk. We will show how the cooperative system perspective and methodology supports analysis of crew performance at early development stages and leads to a bridge system development that considers cooperation and situation awareness of ship crews. The methodology integrates techniques and tools for harmonization of system development, procedure development and human factors. Hereby we advance the state of the art in maritime ship bridge design and detect as well as solve potential conflicts, incl. human errors to improve safety in the maritime domain.
4 / 2014
Model-based Cooperative and Adaptive Ship-based Context Aware Design