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A Smarter Common Operational Picture : The Application of Cognitive Work Analysis to Naval Command and Control.

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Author: Arciszewski, H.F.R. · Greef, T.E. de
Source:16th ICCRTS : Collective C2 in Multinational Civil-Military Operations, June 2011, Quebec, Canada.
Identifier: 462317
Keywords: Command and Control C2 · Mental workload · Military Operations · Naval Environment · Common Operational Picture · Situational Awareness · Defence Research · Defence, Safety and Security · Organisation · NO - Networked Organisations · BSS - Behavioural and Societal Sciences


During the last ten years significant steps have been made in connecting military command and control systems from different defense forces in joint and combined operations. However, a common operational picture (COP) that provides all actors within the defense organization with sufficient, accurate, and timely information is still an elusive target. For a better situational awareness additional, more abstract information is needed, including a representation of the friendly, neutral and hostile courses of action and the roles of units therein. A starting point for a more advanced COP is work by Rasmussen, Vicente, and others on abstraction decomposition spaces. Their work is based on the observation that when people are dealing with a complex technical or sociological system, they construct a mental model with several levels of abstraction. This multi-level model allows humans to diagnose unexpected behavior and problems faster and better. Rasmussen also proposed that automation should reflect this human model in order to better assist people in understanding the situation. In this paper we show the multi-level information model that we intend to use as the framework for a COP. A task analysis has led to the identification of input and output of command and control processes that have been used to populate the information model. Using various warfare scenarios, discussions with naval personnel were used to validate the model. Experiments with naval personnel are planned for the future in order to evaluate the effects of the information model on their performance, situational awareness, and coordination with other parties.