Quantitative modelling in cognitive ergonomics: predicting signals passed at danger

This paper shows how to combine field observations, experimental data and mathematical modelling to produce quantitative explanations and predictions of complex events in human–machine interaction. As an example, the authors consider a major railway accident. In 1999, a commuter train passed a red signal near Ladbroke Grove, UK, into the path of an express. The authors use the Public Inquiry Report, ‘black box’ data, and accident and engineering reports to construct a case history of the accident. The authors show how to combine field data with mathematical modelling to estimate the probability that the driver observed and identified the state of the signals, and checked their status. The authors' methodology can explain the SPAD (‘Signal Passed At Danger’), generate recommendations about signal design and placement and provide quantitative guidance for the design of safer railway systems’ speed limits and the location of signals. Practitioner Summary: Detailed ergonomic analysis of railway signals and rail infrastructure reveals problems of signal identification at this location. A record of driver eye movements measures attention, from which a quantitative model for out signal placement and permitted speeds can be derived. The paper is an example of how to combine field data, basic research and mathematical modelling to solve ergonomic design problems.

Language

  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01633856
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 1 2017 9:36AM