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Modeling Responsibility Transfer In Man-Machine Systems


S. Ahmad, M. A. Faruqi, V. Saxena


Vol. 8  No. 10  pp. 211-218


While there is a continuing trend towards further automation and computerization of complex engineering systems to improve their performance and reliability, there is also an increasing realization that a visible over all human responsibility through monitoring and control of these systems particularly man-machine systems has to continue. This need for the intervention from human beings is acceptable largely due to their better over all situation perception and their crisis handling capabilities. The problems of automation and computerization in the man-machine domains have often been successfully addressed through modularization of the domain, as for example it can be seen in the case of Air Traffic Control (ATC) operations. This approach allows the designers to build an overall human control over each of the modules and it further facilitates in building human interaction and collaboration processes between the modules. Under these conditions the depiction and the visibility of responsibility as it is being shared and transferred between different human beings becomes an important modeling issue. It has been shown through the example of ATC that the above responsibility requirements can be modeled using the extensive massage handling and organizing features of the Unified Modeling Language (UML) Sequence Diagrams. This requires that the development of the diagrams should be carried in such a way that all responsibility sharing actors are included in it. Further, it is shown that through a proposed convention, both full and partial or shared responsibilities can be visually depicted on the diagrams. This approach also paves the way for modeling and depiction of human-computer or human-human interfaces that facilitate mediation between the computers and situation aware human beings.


Air Traffic Control, Domain Driven Design, Human-Computer Interaction, Transfer of Responsibility