Project: ADAPT 99 — Adapting to Change in Dynamic Worlds: A Study of Critical Success Factors in a Process Control Microworld

Partner: NSERC
Dates: October 1999 - December 2000
Participants: Hajdukiewicz, J. R.
Description: The objectives of this research were to look closer at understanding the critical success factors in adapting to change from a fundamental point of view. To assist in studying these issues, concepts from ecological psychology and motor control, in particular coordinative structures (i.e., functionally higher-level control), provided some insight. The hypotheses for this research are noted below:
People can use functionally higher-level control to successfully adapt to change.
Functionally higher-level control can be induced by invariant, goal-relevant information about the work domain, with people attuned to this structure.
Functionally higher-level control can be made possible by the existence and utilization of wide opportunities for component resource selection and allocation (i.e., multiple degrees of freedom).
The research was narrowed down to three experiments: (1) adaptation to global changes in component dynamics, (2) adaptation to local changes in component dynamics, and (3) adaptation to changes in interface form. The experiments were conducted using DURESS II, a thermal-hydraulic microworld simulation environment, as the testbed. The participants used one of two different interfaces to control the process, each developed using different interface design principles (Vicente and Rasmussen, 1990). The P interface, designed using a more traditional approach (i.e., mimic design), displayed primarily physical information about the work domain. The P+F interface, designed using the principles of EID, displayed both physical and functional information about the work domain derived from an AH analysis of DURESS II.

View PDF Hajdukiewicz J.R., & Vicente, K.J. (1999). A cognitive engineering approach for measuring adaptive behavior. (CEL 99-05). University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.

Hajdukiewicz, J. R., & Vicente, K. J., "Ecological interface design: Adaptation to dynamic perturbations," Proceedings of the Fifth Annual Conference on Human Interaction with Complex Systems, pp. 69-73, 2000.

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