The decision centered testing methodology


  1. Jobidon, M.-E.
  2. Breton, R.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Valcartier, Valcartier QUE (CAN)
The objective of a Decision Support System (DSS) is to assist human operators in the execution of the decision-making process by supporting cognitive limitations and reducing the risk of error brought by time constraints and uncertainty. Human and systems must work as a coordinated team to reach mission goals successfully, and therefore the evaluation of a DSS prior to its deployment is crucial. The Decision Centered Testing (DCT) methodology constitutes an innovative approach to evaluation that aims to test the decision-making effectiveness of the human-DSS team, called the Joint Cognitive System (JCS; Hollnagel & Woods, 2005). In particular, DCT focuses on critical decision points (known to be prone to human decision-making errors) rather than on the general outcomes of the decision process. Used as part of an iterative development process, DCT aims to provide insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the JCS prior to the DSS being implemented into an operational setting. Although much work remains to be done for the methodology to reach its full capability, DCT has the potential to make a significant contribution to the DSS evaluation process.

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Report Number
DRDC-VALCARTIER-TM-2008-155 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 Jul 2011
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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