Measuring human-automation function allocation

Amy R. Pritchett, So Young Kim, Karen M. Feigh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Function allocation is the design decision in which work functions are assigned to all agents in a team, both human and automated. Building on the preceding companion papers' review of the requirements of effective function allocation and discussion of a computational framework for modeling function allocation, in this paper, we develop specific metrics of function allocation that can be derived from such models as well as from observations in high-fidelity human-in-the-loop simulations or real operations. These metrics span eight issues with function allocation: (a) workload, (b) stability of the work environment, (c) mismatches between responsibility and authority, (d) incoherency in function allocations, (e) interruptive automation, (f) automation's boundary conditions, (g) function allocations limiting human adaptation to context, (h) and mission performance. Some of the metrics measure distinct issues whereas others assess different causes of issues that can manifest in similar ways; collectively, they are intended to be comprehensive in their ability to discriminate for a range of issues. Trade-offs may exist between these metrics, and they need to be examined collectively to identify potential trade-offs or conflicts between them. This paper continues the example given in the preceding companion paper, demonstrating how these metrics of function allocation can be assessed from computational simulations of an air transport flight deck through the descent phase of flight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-77
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Computer Science Applications


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