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Proceedings Paper

Analysis of human factors case studies of complex military systems: surely we can do better
Author(s): Susan G. Hutchins
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Paper Abstract

People in nearly ever occupational setting can provide examples of poor system design. The focus for this paper is on an analysis of design problems found in complex military command and control systems and the ways in which these types of problems can be avoided in future system design. The source of data for this analysis was a group of case studies of sixteen U.S. military systems written by officer-students at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA. Systems analyzed span the four military services and include aircraft systems, communications systems, the M-16 rifle, a missile defense system, a message processing system, weapon systems, and decision support systems. Documented problems with system use were categorized according to the following measures of effectiveness: Performance, Safety, Usability, Reliability, Maintainability, Time and Cost to Train, and Workload. The number of problems encountered per system ranged from one to nine; the mean number of reported problems per system was 4.9 IEEE 1220-1998 includes a revised systems engineering approach with an increased emphasis on engineering the system for the human. Adhering to a user-centered design approach should have a positive impact on system design by significantly reducing the types of system problems described in this paper.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 November 2000
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 4126, Integrated Command Environments, (28 November 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.407539
Show Author Affiliations
Susan G. Hutchins, Naval Postgraduate School (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4126:
Integrated Command Environments
Patricia Hamburger, Editor(s)

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