The research, within the area of Man-System Interaction (MSI) performed by FOI, is focused on development and adaptation of methods, training- and technical solutions with the purpose of supporting humans in handling complex situations. The research area is by nature interdisciplinary and is staffed with personnel with backgrounds in behavioural sciences, such as cognition, and engineering. The MSI competence at FOI is used for evaluation and validation of systems from a user perspective, both regarding existing systems and those that are under development. The competence is used to support the Armed Forces and other authorities in specification of requirements for future technical systems.
Theoretical, experimental, and empirical research
The research activities within the MSI area are performed in the form of studies, development work, and expert support. The studies are based on theoretical, experimental as well as empirical research.
Examples of MSI methods used are questionnaires, interviews, observations, psycho-physiological measures, other objective measures and instruments, system logs and resources such as simulations and simulators. The researchers are specialized in advanced methodology for statistical analysis.
Training and education
An important research area for MSI is design and adaptation of training and education for different environments, with the purpose of optimizing human ability to perform efficiently in different kinds of systems and situations. The intention is to contribute to improved interaction with, and use of, modern technology with respect to both individuals and groups. Further, MSI oriented research contributes to improved communication and decision making as well as more efficient training with respect to entire organizations and between operators. An example of practical use of MSI research is design of crisis management training.
The user in focus
Today large resources are spent on the development of technical systems, however, often without consideration of the human operators. Technology and development projects that include, or integrate, MSI competence ensures that the systems are developed taking human capabilities and limitations into account. In properly designed systems, with requirements formulated specifically with respect to the human interaction, positive effects on performance are expected since the operators spend less of their mental capacity on system interaction per se.
Important issues that MSI are working with are:
- How should information be presented to operators?
- How can humans by use of shared situation awareness create an understanding of complex situations?
- Can training by simulators and computer games contribute to improved performance?