Using finite state automata (FSA) for formal modelling of affordances in human-machine cooperative manufacturing systems

N. Kim, D. Shin, R. A. Wysk, L. Rothrock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Modelling complex systems poses significant challenges on how one represents the system components and interactions among them. In order to provide a systematic approach to represent human participation as a part of a dynamic system, this paper presents a formal automata model of human-machine cooperative systems that incorporates human capabilities with respect to system conditions. Specifically, we propose a control model for human-involved shop floor systems based on discrete event-based systems (DES) and an environmental concept known as an affordance. When modelling human-involved systems where a human operator is considered a crucial system component, it is necessary to analyse the model complexity that increases significantly due to a human's behavioural patterns. From the perspective of the temporal and physical state domains a human operator's behaviour is usually limited by attention and resource constraints. We investigate these limitations and map them into constrained system affordances, and then construct a formal human-machine cooperative model based on the finite state automaton (FSA) model. The proposed model can provide a framework to combine human activities into systems operations in consideration of human's effectivities and system affordances. A detailed application example is provided to illustrate that the proposed model can effectively be applied to manufacturing control systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1303-1320
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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