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Interacting with command and control systems: Tools for operators and designers (Computer Project)

Command and control is central in all distributed tactical operations such as rescue operations and military operations. It takes place in a complex system of humans and artefacts, striving to reach common goals. The command and control complexity springs from several sources, including dynamism, uncertainty, risk, time pressure, feedback delays and interdependencies.

Stemming from this complexity, the project approaches two important and related problem areas in command and control research. On a general level, the thesis seeks to approach the problems facing the command and control operators and the problems facing the designers in the associated systems development process.

We investigate the specific problem of operators losing sight of the overall perspective when working with large maps in geographical information systems with limited screen area. To approach this problem, we propose high-precision input techniques that reduce the need for zooming and panning in touch-screen systems, and informative unit representations that make better use of the screen area available.

The results from an experimental study show that the proposed input techniques are as fast and accurate as state-of-the-art techniques without the need to resort to zooming. Furthermore, results from a prototype design show that the proposed unit representation reduces on-screen clutter and makes use of off-screen units to better exploit the valuable screen area.
Author: Albinsson, Pär-Anders
Source: Linköping University

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