'Human-error' is often cited as a contributory factor in the failure of many safety-critical systems. There are, however, relatively few techniques that analyze the impact of 'usability' on overall system safety (Woods et al 1994). A critical barrier to such techniques is the need to integrate systems engineering, human factors, management studies and user interface design. This is a significant obstacle because there has been a mutual ignorance about complementary disciplines, a lack of methods in certain areas and a failure to integrate existing techniques (Leveson, 1997).
Our research will, therefore, focus on the following objectives:
1. Interdisciplinary training of young researchers including exposure to industrial strength problems. The proposers have found great difficulty in finding engineers with the diverse skills necessary to support the development of safety-critical, interactive systems. The exchange of pre and post-doctoral researchers will train a new generation of multi-skilled individuals and will also encourage technology transfer between the participants in this project.
2. Integration of existing systems engineering, management studies, human factors and HCI design techniques. This proposal will drive the integration of existing techniques. For instance, Prof. Hales work on Safety management Systems and Prof. Johnson's accident analysis techniques might guide Prof. De Keyser's human error modeling. Conversely, Prof. De Keyser's techniques can be used to extend systems-oriented approaches of Dr Palanque and Baside. All stages of this integration will be validated by case study work and by our commercial and regulatory colleagues.
3. Development of new techniques for the development of interactive, safety- critical systems. We will develop new techniques. The young researchers who are funded by this proposal will drive this integration activity. The mobility supported by the network will provide them with a tray
Funding SchemeNET - Research network contracts
2600 GA Delft