Distributed Situation Awareness in Dynamic Systems: Theoretical Development and Application of an Ergonomics Methodology

NA Stanton, R Stewart, D Harris, Robert Houghton, Christopher Baber, Richard McMaster, P Salmon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

319 Citations (Scopus)
544 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to propose foundations for a theory of situation awareness based on the analysis of interactions between agents (i.e. both human and non-human) in subsystems. This approach may help to promote a better understanding of technology-mediated interaction in systems, as well as helping in the formulation of hypotheses and predictions concerning distributed situation awareness. It is proposed that agents within a system each hold their own situation awareness, which may be very different from (although compatible with) that of other agents. It is argued that we should not always hope for, or indeed want, sharing of this awareness, as different system agents have different purposes. This view marks situation awareness as a dynamic and collaborative process binding agents together on tasks on a moment-by-moment basis. Implications of this viewpoint for the development of a new theory of, and accompanying methodology for, distributed situation awareness are offered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1288-1311
Number of pages24
JournalErgonomics
Volume49
Issue number12-13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2006

Keywords

  • teams
  • agents
  • situation awareness
  • command and control
  • systems theory

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