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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/J07686/01
Principal Investigator: Harrison, Professor M
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
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Department: Computer Science
Organisation: University of York
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 21 March 1994 Ends: 20 September 1997 Value (£): 142,493
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Human-Computer Interactions
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Summary on Grant Application Form
The overall aim of the project is to integrate techniques from systems safety engineering, including utility theory and risk analysis, with human-machine interface design.Our specific objectives have been to: to find methods for eliciting and representing utility judgements about elements of complex systems; to find ways of applying these judgements in user interface design; to develop methods by which utility judgements and reliability assessments can be used to improve the predictive value of simulator studies with prototypes.Progress:A research assistant (Andy Dearden) was appointed on 1st October 1994.We have investigated a number of approaches to the problem of eliciting utility. In particular we are considering the technique of satisficing in which the utility judgements of an individual designer can be derived using interviews in a laboratory setting, and techniques that are based on structural analyses of fault trees.We have conducted a review of literature concerning safety engineering approaches to human-machine interface design. This review has covered techniques of human reliability analysis. Cognitive models of human behaviour in control applications and cognitive models of human risk management.We have investigated how judgements of the change in utility (or impact) that result from the performance of an operation might be used to inform the dialogue design for that operation. Our design proposals are based on cognitive models of human risk management. A paper based on this work has been submitted to the Symposium on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS'95). We plan to develop this work by investigating the relationship between the difficulty of a task performance and abstract interaction properties such as predictability and conformance, and methods of representing impact assessments in the design process. The logical notation used by the PRELOG tool has been extended by Dr Chris Johnson. to include representations of the probability of failure of components and the severity of accidents that might be caused by failures. This work is continuing. A paper describing current progress has been published by the International Journal of Human-Computer Systems.
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Organisation Website: http://www.york.ac.uk