The development of an emergency crisis management simulation to assess the impact a fuzzy cognitive map decision-aid has on team cognition and team decision-making

by Jones, Rashaad Ennis

Abstract (Summary)
iii The research presented addresses two problems evident in the Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and Cognitive Systems Engineering (CSE) literature. First, research has shown that emergency crisis management (ECM) work involves teams and “teams of teams”. Yet, there are few models of naturalistic decision systems (i.e., crisismanagement) that allow multiple teams to work collectively. Research efforts in modeling the ECM work domain typically involve single team-based simulations. However, few simulations have been designed to study multiple teams operating simultaneously. Secondly, previous efforts in supporting teamwork have involved the development of decision-aids; however, a prevalent problem with team decision aids is the requirement of rigid and stable information needed to make decisions. The ECM work domain is highly dynamic with incomplete and ambiguous information. Consequently, decision-aids within the ECM domain oftentimes make inaccurate and erroneous recommendations. An alternative design that makes use of contextualized information could be more effective. The aforementioned problems are addressed by 1.) the development of a simulation studying teams operating in an ECM work domain, and 2.) the conducting of an experiment to investigate the effect a decision-aid has on teamwork. The first objective of the research involved designing a simulation that effectively mimics ECM operations. Hence, the research constructed NeoCITIES as a crisis management scaled world to study team decision-making for a variety of examinations related to HCI and CSE suppositions. The second objective of the research included the development of a decision-aid that utilizes contextualized information. Specifically, a Fuzzy Cognitive Map (FCM) that handles dynamic and incomplete information was developed to function as a decision-aid supporting teams operating within the NeoCITIES simulation. iv Lastly, the research includes an examination of the efficacy of a Fuzzy Cognitive Map (FCM) decision aid on teamwork within NeoCITIES. The study measures whether the presence of a FCM improves decision-making involving resource allocation amongst teams. Experimental sessions using undergraduate students enrolled at Pennsylvania State University provided data to measure team performance and team cognition. The contributions of the research are threefold. First, NeoCITIES is a technological artifact developed to function as a test-bed to study teams. Secondly, the research assesses the functional use of fuzzy cognitive mapping to serve as a decision-aid for teams. Lastly, in accordance with the interdisciplinary nature of the Information Sciences and Technology program, the present study serves as a model research agenda by developing technologies, examining theories, and incorporating user-centric methods from several disciplines: cognitive systems engineering, human computer interaction, computer science, psychology, and artificial intelligence.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Pennsylvania State University

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:

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