# Human Performance Modeling in Aviation Human performance modeling (HPM) is a technique that uses computer simulations to represent and predict how humans interact with complex systems, such as aviation. HPM can help researchers and designers to evaluate new concepts, identify potential problems, and optimize human-system integration. In this article, we will introduce the basic concepts of HPM, its applications and benefits in aviation, and some of the challenges and limitations of this approach. ## What is Human Performance Modeling? Human performance modeling (HPM) is a branch of human factors engineering that aims to understand and improve human performance in complex systems. HPM uses computational models that capture the cognitive processes, behaviors, and interactions of human operators in various scenarios and environments. HPM models can simulate how humans perceive, process, remember, decide, act, communicate, and collaborate with other humans and machines. HPM models are based on theories and empirical data from various disciplines, such as psychology, neuroscience, computer science, and engineering. HPM models can be classified into different types according to their level of detail, scope, and purpose. Some examples of HPM types are: - Task network models: These models represent the sequence and structure of tasks that humans perform in a system. They can capture the temporal aspects, such as duration, frequency, and concurrency of tasks, as well as the logical aspects, such as dependencies, constraints, and goals of tasks. Task network models can be used to analyze workload, efficiency, and error rates of human operators. - Cognitive architectures: These models represent the general mechanisms and structures of human cognition that underlie task performance. They can capture the mental processes, such as attention, memory, learning, reasoning, problem-solving, and decision-making that humans use in various domains. Cognitive architectures can be used to explain and predict human behavior and performance across different tasks and situations. - Agent-based models: These models represent the individual characteristics and interactions of human operators in a system. They can capture the personality traits, preferences, motivations, emotions, attitudes, beliefs, and social norms that influence human behavior and performance. Agent-based models can be used to simulate how humans adapt to changing conditions, cooperate or compete with others, and influence or are influenced by group dynamics. ## Why is Human Performance Modeling Useful for Aviation? Aviation is a complex socio-technical system that involves multiple human operators (such as pilots, air traffic controllers, maintenance technicians), multiple machines (such as aircrafts, radars, navigation systems), and multiple environmental factors (such as weather conditions, traffic density). Aviation also involves high levels of uncertainty, risk, and time pressure that can affect human performance and safety. HPM can help researchers and designers to understand how humans perform in aviation systems, and how they can be supported by better design, training, and procedures. Some of the benefits of HPM for aviation are: - Evaluating new concepts: HPM can be used to test new ideas for aviation displays, automation, operations, and procedures before they are implemented in real systems. HPM can help to identify the strengths and weaknesses of different design alternatives, and to compare their effects on human performance and safety. - Identifying potential problems: HPM can be used to uncover latent design flaws or hidden hazards that may induce human error or reduce system performance under some low-probability or unexpected situations. HPM can help to anticipate and prevent adverse outcomes before they occur in real systems. - Optimizing human-system integration: HPM can be used to optimize the fit between humans and machines in aviation systems. HPM can help to balance the workload, situation awareness, and trust among human operators and automated agents, and to enhance the communication, coordination, and collaboration among different roles and teams. ## How is Human Performance Modeling Applied in Aviation? HPM has been applied in various domains and aspects of aviation, such as flight deck design, air traffic management, maintenance operations, and remote operations. Some examples of HPM applications in aviation are: - Flight deck design: HPM has been used to evaluate different flight deck displays, such as head-up displays, head-down displays, synthetic vision systems, and augmented reality systems. HPM has also been used to assess different levels and modes of automation, such as adaptive automation, cognitive automation, and authority management. HPM has helped to determine how these design features affect pilot performance, workload, situation awareness, and error management. - Air traffic management: HPM has been used to evaluate different air traffic control systems, such as conflict detection and resolution systems, trajectory-based operations, and free flight. HPM has also been used to assess different air traffic control procedures, such as arrival and departure management, sectorization and delegation, and dynamic airspace configuration. HPM has helped to determine how these system features and procedures affect controller performance, workload, situation awareness, and communication. - Maintenance operations: HPM has been used to evaluate different maintenance tools and methods, such as electronic technical manuals, smart glasses, and virtual reality. HPM has also been used to assess different maintenance factors, such as fatigue, stress, and team coordination. HPM has helped to determine how these tools, methods, and factors affect maintenance performance, workload, error rates, and safety. - Remote operations: HPM has been used to evaluate different remote operation systems, such as remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) and remote towers. HPM has also been used to assess different remote operation factors, such as latency, reliability, and trust. HPM has helped to determine how these systems and factors affect remote operator performance, workload, situation awareness, and communication. ## What are the Challenges and Limitations of Human Performance Modeling? HPM is a powerful and promising technique for aviation research and design, but it also faces some challenges and limitations that need to be addressed. Some of these challenges and limitations are: - Data availability and quality: HPM requires a large amount of data to build, validate, and calibrate the models. These data include human performance measures, system parameters, environmental variables, and human-system interactions. However, obtaining such data can be difficult, costly, or unethical in some aviation domains or situations. Moreover, the data may be incomplete, inconsistent, or noisy, which can affect the accuracy and reliability of the models. - Model complexity and scalability: HPM involves modeling multiple aspects of human performance, such as cognition, behavior, emotion, and social interaction. These aspects are often interrelated, nonlinear, and dynamic, which makes the modeling process challenging and computationally intensive. Moreover, the models need to be scalable to handle large-scale and realistic scenarios that involve multiple human operators, machines, and environmental factors. - Model validation and verification: HPM requires rigorous methods to validate and verify the models against empirical data and theoretical expectations. These methods include comparing the model outputs with human performance data from experiments or observations, checking the model assumptions and logic with domain experts or literature reviews, and testing the model robustness and sensitivity with different inputs or conditions. However, these methods can be time-consuming, resource-intensive, or subjective, which can limit the applicability and generalizability of the models. - Model interpretation and communication: HPM produces a large amount of output data that need to be interpreted and communicated to the relevant stakeholders, such as researchers, designers, regulators, or operators. These output data include model predictions, explanations, recommendations, or warnings. However, these output data can be complex, ambiguous, or uncertain, which can make them difficult to understand and use. Moreover, the output data need to be presented in an appropriate format and language that suit the needs and preferences of the stakeholders. ## Conclusion Human performance modeling (HPM) is a technique that uses computer simulations to represent and predict how humans interact with complex systems, such as aviation. HPM can help researchers and designers to evaluate new concepts, identify potential problems, and optimize human-system integration in aviation. However, HPM also faces some challenges and limitations that need to be addressed by further research and development. ## FAQs - What is human performance modeling (HPM)? - Human performance modeling (HPM) is a technique that uses computer simulations to represent and predict how humans interact with complex systems. - What are some benefits of HPM for aviation? - Some benefits of HPM for aviation are evaluating new concepts, identifying potential problems, and optimizing human-system integration. - What are some types of HPM? - Some types of HPM are task network models, cognitive architectures, and agent-based models. - What are some domains of aviation where HPM has been applied? - Some domains of aviation where HPM has been applied are flight deck design, air traffic management, maintenance operations, and remote operations. - What are some challenges and limitations of HPM? - Some challenges and limitations of HPM are data availability quality, model complexity scalability, model validation verification, model interpretation communication.