Human-Machine Systems
Book chapter, 2018

Process control has changed dramatically after the industrial revolution. Processes have today become more and more complex and impossible to perceive directly. The increased complexity has implications for how the interfaces between the process to be controlled and the operators should be designed. To design the user interfaces in an optimal way it is important to understand the behavior of complex systems and the necessary conditions that must be fulfilled to achieve control of the system. The demands on the operators’ cognitive resources and factors that affect these resources, e.g. stress, motivation and fatigue, are of vital importance as well as the impact of the physical and social environment.  Of importance are also different strategies that can be used to control complexity. The aim of this chapter is to discuss and suggest some tentative answers to the question on how to improve operator’s chances to control complex human machine systems.

situation awareness

operator control

user interface design


mental model


performance shaping factors


Anna-Lisa Osvalder

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Design and Human Factors

Håkan Alm

Luleå University of Technology

Handbook of Safety Principles

978-1-118-95069-2 (ISBN)

Subject Categories

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics

Interaction Technologies

Human Computer Interaction

Areas of Advance

Information and Communication Technology


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