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The Impact of Structure on Cognitive Complexity in Air Traffic Control

Research and Teaching Output of the MIT Community

Show simple item record Histon, Jonathan 2007-04-26T20:30:08Z 2007-04-26T20:30:08Z 2002-06
dc.description.abstract Focused interviews with air traffic controllers and traffic management unit personnel, as well as analysis of traffic flow patterns based on Enhanced Traffic Management System (ETMS) data, suggest that controllers rely on underlying airspace structure to reduce the cognitive complexity of managing an air traffic control situation. To understand how structural elements reduce cognitive complexity, a framework has been developed relating structure, situation awareness, and a controller’s working mental model. It is hypothesized that structure forms the basis for abstractions which simplify a controller’s working mental model. The working mental model is used to support the key tasks of a controller identified by Pawlak (1996): planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating. Three examples of structure-based abstractions have been identified: standard flows, groupings, and critical points. en
dc.description.sponsorship National Center of Excellence for Aviation Operations Research en
dc.language.iso en_US en
dc.relation.ispartofseries ICAT-2002-4 en
dc.subject air traffic controllers en
dc.subject management en
dc.subject air transportation en
dc.title The Impact of Structure on Cognitive Complexity in Air Traffic Control en
dc.type Technical Report en

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