Generalized Philosophy of Alerting with Applications for Parallel Approach Collision Prevention
Author(s)Winder, Lee F.; Kuchar, James K.
An alerting system is automation designed to reduce the likelihood of undesirable outcomes that are due to rare failures in a human-controlled system. It accomplishes this by monitoring the system, and issuing warning messages to the human operators when thought necessary to head off a problem. On examination of existing and recently proposed logics for alerting it appears that few commonly accepted principles guide the design process. Different logics intended to address the same hazards may take disparate forms and emphasize different aspects of performance, because each reflects the intuitive priorities of a different designer. Because performance must be satisfactory to all users of an alerting system (implying a universal meaning of acceptable performance) and not just one designer, a proposed logic often undergoes significant piecemeal modification before gaining general acceptance. This report is an initial attempt to clarify the common performance goals by which an alerting system is ultimately judged. A better understanding of these goals will hopefully allow designers to reach the final logic in a quicker, more direct and repeatable manner. As a case study, this report compares three alerting logics for collision prevention during independent approaches to parallel runways, and outlines a fourth alternative incorporating elements of the first three, but satisfying stated requirements.
alerting system, automation, human factors, air transportation