AbstractsSocial Sciences

Simulating the effects of mental workload on tactical and operational performance in tankcrew

by Mikael Lundin

Institution: Linköping University
Year: 2004
Keywords: Interdisciplinary studies; cognitive modeling; behavior moderators; mental workload; tankcrew; Soar; battletank; tankcrew; TVÄRVETENSKAP; Social Sciences; Other Social Sciences; Social Sciences Interdisciplinary; Samhällsvetenskap; Annan samhällsvetenskap; Tvärvetenskapliga studier; INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH AREAS; TVÄRVETENSKAPLIGA FORSKNINGSOMRÅDEN; Kognitionsvetenskapliga programmet; Cognitive science programme; samhälle/juridik; samhälle/juridik
Record ID: 1335632
Full text PDF: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-2693


Battletank crew must perform many diverse tasks during a normal mission: Crewmembers have to navigate, communicate, control on-board systems, and engage with the enemy, to mention a few. As human processing capacity is limited, the crewmembers will find themselves in situations where task requirements, due to the number of tasks and task complexity, exceed their mental capacity. The stress that results from mental overload has documented quantitative and qualitative effects on performance; effects that could lead to mission failure. This thesis describes a simulation of tankcrew during a mission where mental workload is a key factor to the outcome of mission performance. The thesis work has given rise to a number of results. First, conceptual models have been developed of the tank crewmembers. Mental workload is represented in these models as a behavior moderator, which can be manipulated to demonstrate and predict behavioral effects. Second, cognitive models of the tank crewmembers are implemented as Soar agents, which interact with tanks in a 3D simulated battlefield. The empirical data underlying these models was collected from experiments with tankcrew, and involved first hand observations and task analyses. Afterwards, the model’s behavior was verified against an a priori established behavioral pattern and successfully face validated with two subject matter experts.