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Identification and Organization of Task Complexity Factors Based on a Model Combining Task Design Aspects and Complexity Dimensions
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 Title & Authors
Identification and Organization of Task Complexity Factors Based on a Model Combining Task Design Aspects and Complexity Dimensions
Ham, Dong-Han;
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Objective: The purpose of this paper is to introduce a task complexity model combining task design aspects and complexity dimensions and to explain an approach to identifying and organizing task complexity factors based on the model. Background: Task complexity is a critical concept in describing and predicting human performance in complex systems such as nuclear power plants(NPPs). In order to understand the nature of task complexity, task complexity factors need to be identified and organized in a systematic manner. Although several methods have been suggested for identifying and organizing task complexity factors, it is rare to find an analytical approach based on a theoretically sound model. Method: This study regarded a task as a system to be designed. Three levels of design ion, which are functional, behavioral, and structural level of a task, characterize the design aspects of a task. The behavioral aspect is further classified into five cognitive processing activity types(information collection, information analysis, decision and action selection, action implementation, and action feedback). The complexity dimensions describe a task complexity from different perspectives that are size, variety, and order/organization. Combining the design aspects and complexity dimensions of a task, we developed a model from which meaningful task complexity factors can be identified and organized in an analytic way. Results: A model consisting of two facets, each of which is respectively concerned with design aspects and complexity dimensions, were proposed. Additionally, twenty-one task complexity factors were identified and organized based on the model. Conclusion: The model and approach introduced in this paper can be effectively used for examining human performance and human-system interface design issues in NPPs. Application: The model and approach introduced in this paper could be used for several human factors problems, including task allocation and design of information aiding, in NPPs and extended to other types of complex systems such as air traffic control systems as well.
Task complexity;Complexity factors;Complexity model;Human performance;
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