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Section: Application Domains

Mission-critical systems

Mission-critical contexts of use include emergency response & management, and critical infrastructure operations, such as public transportation systems, communications and power distribution networks, or the operations of large scientific instruments such as particle accelerators and astronomical observatories. Central to these contexts of work is the notion of situation awareness [21] , i.e., how workers perceive and understand elements of the environment with respect to time and space, such as maps and geolocated data feeds from the field, and how they form mental models that help them predict future states of those elements. One of the main challenges is how to best assist subject-matter experts in constructing correct mental models and making informed decisions, often under time pressure. This can be achieved by providing them with, or helping them efficiently identify and correlate, relevant and timely information extracted from large amounts of raw data, taking into account the often cooperative nature of their work and the need for task coordination. With this application area, our goal is to investigate novel ways of interacting with computing systems that improve collaborative data analysis capabilities and decision support assistance in a mission-critical, often time-constrained, work context.