Design Frameworks for Computer-Based Decision Support


  1. Chalmers, B.A.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Atlantic, Dartmouth NS (CAN)
Decision support is a focus of attention for the mid-life upgrade of the Command and Control Information System (C2IS) of the Canadian Navy’s HALIFAX Class frigate. We are exploring concepts for the design of computer-based tools to assist the ship’s Command Team with tactical Command and Control (C2). In this document, we propose a framework for developing and testing design hypotheses for advanced decision support tools to be integrated into the C2IS. The framework spans a variety of activities aimed at developing an increasing understanding of the environment’s work demands and their support requirements as the basis for design. A work analysis that explicitly models work demands is therefore an integral component of the activity framework. We also review some existing analysis approaches and identify the emerging Cognitive Work Analysis (CWA) framework as a constraint-based approach to work analysis that is particularly suited to complex, dynamic work environments. While there are many reasons to believe that the CWA framework provides a good fit between the demands imposed by C2 and the properties of CWA, it is important to provide a basis for evaluating this fit. The two frameworks examined in this document are the foundation for ongoing R&D that is using CWA to generate explicit design requirements for advanced decision support systems for the HALIFAX Class frigate. The results of this work will also allow us to evaluate the role of CWA in C2 system design.

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Cognitive systems engineering;Cognitive task analysis;Cognitive work analysis;Complex sociotechnical system;Computer-based decision support;Model-based design;Decision support system;Model-Based Design Methodologies
Report Number
DRDC-ATLANTIC-TM-2001-210 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 Dec 2002
Number of Pages

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