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Allocation of Function in early systems design

A research project sponsored by BAE SYSTEMS.

Defining the allocation problem

The development of complex, highly-automated human-machine systems presents major challenges for human-centered design. The high costs and long lead times associated with these systems, mean that many years and millions of pounds (euros/dollars) separate design decisions from opportunities to evaluate those decisions in simulations and prototypes. However, choices made during the early stages of systems design may be difficult to revise after large amounts of money and effort have been spent. Human-centered designers, who wish to engage with the design of such systems, require techniques to represent and reason about alternative proposals for automation during the earliest stages of systems' design. Allocation of function is the
field of research that addresses these problems.


DEARDEN, A. M., HARRISON, M. D., and WRIGHT P. C., 2000. Allocation of Function: scenarios, context and the economics of effort. International Journal of Human Computer Studies 52(2), pp. 289 - 318.

WRIGHT, P., DEARDEN, A. & FIELDS, B., 2000. Function allocation: a perspective from studies of work practice.
International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 52(2), pp. 335 - 355.

DEARDEN, A. M., HARRISON, M. D., and WRIGHT P. C., IN PREPARATION. IDA-S: A framework for understanding function allocations. Submitted to Internation Journal of Human-Computer Studies.

2001 DEARDEN, A., IDA-S: A Conceptual Framework for Partial Automation. In, Blandford, A.; Vanderdonckt, J.; Gray, P., (Eds.): People and Computers XV - Interaction without Frontiers Proceedings of IHM-HCI 2001. Springer.

2001 DEARDEN, A., A Systematic Treatment of Supervision for use in Function Allocation. In Borys, B & Johannsen, G (Eds.) Proceedings of the 8th IFAC Symposium on Analysis, Design and Evaluation of Human-Machine Systems. IFAC: Kassel, Germany.