A Human-Machine Interface; Computer Assistance to Subjects for Enhanced Performance in an Air Traffic Management Game

2014
Research Category: Engineering and Technology
Presenter: Payam Nia
PI: Rifat Sipahi

Air traffic management is a ground-based activity by which operators direct the aircrafts within their radar coverage. The primary purpose of air traffic management is to prevent collisions, organize and expedite the flow of traffic, which can be a large responsibility and known as one of the most mentally challenging careers. Our purpose is to create a lab-scale human-machine interface by which some real-world scenarios can be studied in the context of human-machine systems, and here specifically the effectiveness of computer assistance to subjects playing a type of air traffic management game. For this, we designed an open source game within MATLAB environment, with two distinct game scenarios, one in which the machine provides warnings and thus assists the subject, and the other where such assistance is not available, making the game more challenging. In both game scenarios, the subject must assign the airplanes to airports to land, while making sure crashes between airplanes with the same altitudes are avoided, and airplanes do not leave the field without airport assignments. Moreover, each airport has a certain capacity, and the subject should pay attention that an airplane assignment is executed whenever the capacity is not full. In this poster, we present this game, and also show how we can measure Electroencephalography, Blood Volume Pulse, and Skin Conductance of the subjects in synchrony with the game such that we can study the relationship between human performance in the game, the physiological measurements, and the effects of machine assistance on the subjects.

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