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Illustration of immature HCI engineering: Carry forward in the development of military planning systems

Colbert, Martin; (1995) Illustration of immature HCI engineering: Carry forward in the development of military planning systems. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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In recent years, a number of difficulties in designing interactions between military personnel and their command and control (C2) systems have been identified. These difficulties are persistent and have been attributed to a lack of carry forward between procurement projects. In response to these difficulties, this thesis attempts to realise and then illustrate carry forward in a manner that is characteristic of a particular form of the discipline of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) - informal HCI Engineering. In essence, informal HCI Engineering is different from current best practice in that design work addresses general classes of design Problem and instances of general classes of design Problem, rather than just problem instances which are related to other instances in some, unspecified way. Consequently, in principle, informal Engineering offers additional opportunities to develop and apply knowledge to design work. Specifically, it offers additional opportunities to support; (i) the abstraction of general requirements from instance requirements; (ii) the production of general specifications in response to general requirements; and (iii) the instantiation of general specifications for particular instances. Further, the knowledge applied in support of design may concern classes of design Problem, rather than just instances or a poorly specified range of instances. In addition, informal Engineering provides an additional way of reasoning about the completeness and/or selectivity with which design Problem instances are addressed - reasoning with respect to a relevant class. In this thesis, carry forward in the desired manner is enabled by acquiring the minimum amount of knowledge necessary for carry forward of some kind - a preliminary conception of the domain of C2. Carry forward is then realised by using this preliminary conception to evaluate and specify selected aspects of military planning systems reconstructed in a laboratory for purposes of research. To highlight the distinctive characteristics of carry forward in informal HCI Engineering, and to monitor its potential effectiveness in practice, each attempt to realise carry forward is compared to the current best practice equivalent. Two attempts are made to realise carry forward in the desired manner, first, in late evaluation, and second, in specification. Of these, the second attempt is judged to be more satisfying than the first, since: (i) carry forward is fully carried through; (ii) both a general requirement and a general specification are developed; and (iii) in the case reported, the value of the specifications produced are judged likely to outweigh the costs of their development. Future work may seek to scale-up and transfer to actual design Problems, the manner of carry forward illustrated here.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Illustration of immature HCI engineering: Carry forward in the development of military planning systems
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Social sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10106240
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