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This paper analyses the interactions that take place in complex human organisations between human beings and machines. An organisation is seen as a cooperative system where human operators, supported by assistance tools, interact and communicate from their work place. This representation enables the description and analysis of complex human-machine communication patterns that exist at the work place as well as between work places. Results from that analysis can lead to improvements to the specification and design of assistance tools, in particular human-machine interfaces. A model for the description of the work place is proposed as well as a methodology for the design and assessment of cooperative systems based on the work place concept. A field study in ATC (air traffic control) is described with emphasis on the methodology used for human communications analysis and interpretation in order to find out cooperative tasks and process characteristics. This analysis has taken advantage of the latest progress in the area of Ethnomethodology. Eleven ATCOs from Approach Control of Milan airport have participated in the field study. Data collection included video and audiorecording, observation and selfconfrontation. The MacSHAPA system has been used for data transcription to represent verbal and non-verbal behaviour.

Additional information

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: Eighth International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, Columbus, Ohio (US), April 23-27, 1995
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 38913 ORA
Record Number: 199510648 / Last updated on: 1995-07-07
Original language: en
Available languages: en
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