Supporting mixed-initiative emergency flight planning by portraying procedure context information

Amy R. Pritchett, Jennifer J. Ockerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Determining a suitable airport and planning a trajectory in detail all the way down to landing is a difficult task to do well, especially in emergencies. While a variety of planning aids have been proposed to aid in this task, their evaluation with pilots has led to the question: How do we support a human in a task that is too hard for them to perform well in the time provided, but is too open-ended for automation to perform perfectly in every situation? This paper specifically focuses on whether procedure context information can help pilots evaluate an emergency descent trajectory provided by automation, building on prior studies finding that such information can encourage a more interpretative strategy for evaluating and appropriately following (or not exactly following) procedures. Here, pilots were asked to quickly evaluate emergency flight plans presented both spatially and as a procedure (list of discrete actions). The procedures were presented in a variety of formats, where some explicitly presented the rationale for critical actions and/or emphasized which actions need to be done in a particular sequence. The results indicate that including rationale with a suggested plan can improve some aspects of a human’s reasoning about an automatically generated plan. This finding has implications for both the design of plans and procedures, and the design of mixed-initiative planning aids: capturing the underlying rationale for key actions when generating a plan or procedure can then be beneficial when it can be portrayed to the human planner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-655
Number of pages13
JournalCognition, Technology and Work
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications


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