Cognitive Engineering: Designing for Situation Awareness
This chapter addresses the issue of situations. What is a situation and what are the best ways to represent the situation so that designers can fully appreciate the cognitive and performance requirements that must be satisfied for successful adaptation? The chapter addresses the issue of awareness and discusses the process of analyzing distributed cognitive systems. It attempts to emphasize the parallels in D. Marr's and Jens Rasmussen's descriptions for the constraints that shape performance of complex systems. The chapter outlines levels of description for the problem space or for the problem constraints. The construct of situation awareness (SA) provides a good introduction to the field of cognitive engineering. The general function level best illustrates the organizational constraints within a complex system. Rasmussen's physical form level represents the hardware implementation and physical details of the work domain. Skill-based processing tends to develop most naturally in environments where the consistencies are represented in the space–time properties of continuous feedback.