TitleDynamic Operator Overload: A model for predicting workload during supervisory control
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsBreslow, LA, Gartenberg, D, McCurry, MJ, Trafton, JG
JournalIEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems

Crandall et al. and Cummings & Mitchell introduced fan-out as a measure of the maximum number of robots a single human operator can supervise in a given single-human-multiple-robot system, based on the time constraints imposed by limitations of the robots and of the supervisor, e.g., limitations in attention. Adapting their work, we introduced a dynamic model of operator overload that predicts failures in supervisory control in real time, based on fluctuations in time constraints and in the supervisor’s allocation of attention, assessed by eye fixations. Operator overload was assessed by damage incurred by vehicles when they traversed hazard areas. The model generalized well to different tasks. We then incorporated the model into the system where it predicted in real-time when an operator would fail to prevent vehicle damage and alerted the operator to the threat at those times. These model-based adaptive cues reduced the damage rate by one half relative to a control condition.

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