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This paper analyses the interactions that take place between the various components - human beings and machines - of complex organisations. Such an organisation can be seen as a cooperative system where human operators, supported by assistance tools, interact and communicate from their working positions. This representation enables the description and analysis of human-machine communication patterns that exist at the working position and between working positions. A model for the description of the working position is proposed, as well as a methodology for the design and assessment of cooperative systems based on the working position concept. A partial application of the methodology on a case study - a field study in air traffic control - is described, with emphasis on data collection methodology, task analysis and human communication analysis.

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Authors: BELLORINI A, JRC Ispra (IT);VANDERHAEGEN F, Université de Valenciennes et du Hainaut-Cambrésis, Laboratoire de Mécanique et d'Automatique Industrielles et Humaines (FR)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: International Workshop on the Design of Cooperative Systems, Juan-les-Pins (FR), January 25-27, 1995
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 38841 ORA
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