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Knowledge-Intensive Fusion for Situational Awareness: User Interaction Model

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  • Design


This document describes the technological infrastructure of the AKTiveSA TDS, developed in the context of DIF DTC project 8.14, with a specific emphasis on the opportunities for operationally-effective modes of user interaction. While we do not limit the discussion to user interface components per se (we also describe a number of supporting technology components), much of the discussion focuses on the user interface as a means of highlighting the functional capabilities of the AKTiveSA TDS from the user’s perspective. The design of the user interface components, discussed herein, is based upon the need to provide an intuitive mechanism for user interaction via simple perceptual affordances, in some cases exploiting the expertise and experience of specific end-user communities (particularly the military), so as to minimize the training overhead required for effective use of the AKTiveSA client application. Each user interface component exploits background functionality provided by the AKTiveSA technology framework to mediate transformations in the user’s mental model of a particular situation. This is achieved via filtered visual displays, user alerts, navigational and orientation aids, decision support services, certainty metrics and so on. In addition, the ability of users to actively manipulate the way in which information is presented, juxtaposed, filtered and processed enables the functionality of the AKTiveSA TDS to be harnessed and adapted to meet a user’s situation and task-specific information processing objectives. Such modes of user interaction, we argue, propitiate cognitive outcomes consistent with enhanced situation awareness and operationally-effective decision making in both conventional war-fighting and OOTW scenarios.

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