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Human performance and strategies while solving an aircraft routing and sequencing problem: an experimental approach

Argyle, Elizabeth M.; Houghton, Robert J.; Atkin, Jason; de Maere, Geert; Moore, Terry; Morvan, Herve

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Authors

Elizabeth M. Argyle

JASON ATKIN jason.atkin@nottingham.ac.uk
Associate Professor

Terry Moore

Herve Morvan



Abstract

As airport resources are stretched to meet increasing demand for services, effective use of ground infrastructure is increasingly critical for ensuring operational efficiency. Work in operations research has produced algorithms providing airport tower controllers with guidance on optimal timings and sequences for flight arrivals, departures, and ground movement. While such decision support systems have the potential to improve operational efficiency, they may also affect users’ mental workload, situation awareness, and task performance. This work sought to identify performance outcomes and strategies employed by human decision makers during an experimental airport ground movement control task with the goal of identifying opportunities for enhancing user-centered tower control decision support systems. To address this challenge, thirty novice participants solved a set of vehicle routing problems presented in the format of a game representing the airport ground movement task practiced by runway controllers. The games varied across two independent variables, network map layout (representing task complexity) and gameplay objective (representing task flexibility), and verbal protocol, visual protocol, task performance, workload, and task duration were collected as dependent variables. A logistic regression analysis revealed that gameplay objective and task duration significantly affected the likelihood of a participant identifying the optimal solution to a game, with the likelihood of an optimal solution increasing with longer task duration and in the less flexible objective condition. In addition, workload appeared unaffected by either independent variable, but verbal protocols and visual observations indicated that high-performing participants demonstrated a greater degree of planning and situation awareness. Through identifying human behavior during optimization problem solving, the work of tower control can be better understood, which, in turn, provides insights for developing decision support systems for ground movement management.

Citation

Argyle, E. M., Houghton, R. J., Atkin, J., de Maere, G., Moore, T., & Morvan, H. (2018). Human performance and strategies while solving an aircraft routing and sequencing problem: an experimental approach. Cognition, Technology and Work, 20(3), 425–441. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10111-018-0480-4

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 28, 2018
Online Publication Date Apr 3, 2018
Publication Date Aug 31, 2018
Deposit Date Apr 5, 2018
Publicly Available Date Apr 5, 2018
Journal Cognition, Technology and Work
Print ISSN 1435-5558
Electronic ISSN 1435-5566
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 20
Issue 3
Pages 425–441
DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s10111-018-0480-4
Keywords Problem solving; Human behavior; Air traffic control; Routing and scheduling
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/923209
Publisher URL https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10111-018-0480-4
Contract Date Apr 5, 2018

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