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Design of Natural Warning Sounds in Human-Machine Systems
KTH, Superseded Departments, Industrial Economics and Management.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9709-540X
2003 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

The goal of this research is increased safety in aviation. Aviation is a highly automated and complex, as well as, safety critical human-machine system. The pilot communicates with the system via a human-machine interface in cockpit. In an alerting situation this interface is in part an auditory alerting system. Human errors are often consequences of actions brought about by poor design. Pilots complain that they may be both disturbed and annoyed of alerts, which may affect performance, especially in non-normal situations when the mental workload is high. This research is based on theories in ergonomics and cognitive engineering with the assumption that improved human performance within a system increase safety. Cognitive engineering is a design philosophy for reducing the effort required by cognitive functions by changing the technical interface, which may lead to improved performance. Knowledge of human abilities and limitations and multidisciplinary interrelated theories between humans, sounds and warnings are used. Several methods are involved in this research, such as literature studies, field studies, controlled experiments and simulations with pilots. This research defines design requirements for sounds appropriate in auditory alerts as Natural Warning Sounds. For example, they have a natural meaning within the user’s context, are compatible with the auditory information process, are pleasant to listen to (not annoying), are easy to learn and are clearly audible. A design process for auditory alerting systems is suggested. It includes methods of associability and sound imagery, which develop Natural Warning Sounds, and combines these with an appropriate presentation format. Associability is introduced and represents the required effort to associate sounds to their assigned alert function meaning. An associable sound requires less effort and fewer cognitive resources. Soundimagary is used to develop sound images. A sound image is a sound, which by its acoustics characteristics has a particular meaning to someone without prior training in a certain context. Simulations of presentation formats resulted in recommendations for cancellation capabilities and avoiding continuously repeated alerts. This research brings related theories closer to practice and demonstrates general methods that will allow designers, together with the users of the system, to apply them in their own system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2003. , xv, 78 p.
Series
Trita-IEO, ISSN 1100-7982 ; 2003:17
Keyword [en]
Auditory alerting system interface, ergonomics, cognitive engineering, aviation
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-3679ISBN: 91-7283-656-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-3679DiVA: diva2:9515
Public defence
2003-12-19, 00:00
Note
QC 20100910Available from: 2003-12-11 Created: 2003-12-11 Last updated: 2010-09-10Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Pilot Study of three Auditory Alerting Systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Pilot Study of three Auditory Alerting Systems
2002 (English)In: Humans in a complex environment: proceedings of the 34th annual congress of the Nordic Ergonomics Society, Linköping: Universitetet , 2002Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Universitetet, 2002
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-24469 (URN)91-7373-443-8 (ISBN)91-7373-444-6 (ISBN)
Conference
NES, 1-3 October 2002, Kolmården. Sweden
Note
QC 20100910 NR 20140804Available from: 2010-09-10 Created: 2010-09-10 Last updated: 2012-02-21Bibliographically approved
2. Natural Warning Sounds in Safety Critical Human-Machine Systems: A Cognitive Engineering Approach
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Natural Warning Sounds in Safety Critical Human-Machine Systems: A Cognitive Engineering Approach
2000 (English)In: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting Proceedings: Proceedings 3 - Multiple-Session Symposia, 2000, 742-754 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Cognitive engineering is a multidisciplinary field, which must consider tradeoffs in various areas in order to reach a result that as a whole improves system performance without causing negative consequences. The goal of this research is improved ergonomics and safety. The auditory displays in many safety critical human-machine systems today have poor design and there are many tradeoffs that should be considered. The meaning of an alert in its context, loudness level, confusion of signals, nuisance alarms, duration, urgency level and prioritization are only a few parameters that must be addressed. Natural Warning Sounds is a term for sounds that fulfill several requirements of a good design. These requirements are discussed in a thorough literature review (Ulfvengren, 1999) of fundamental principles of perception and information processing of sounds, their characteristics and their effect on performance and situational awareness. A multidisciplinary mix of people is involved in this research, which primarily concerns aviation, including engineers, a psychologist, a linguist, pilots and simulator-experienced researchers. Pilots contribute in interviews, experiments and simulations. Natural Warning Sounds are intended to convey relevant information, require fewer cognitive resources and increase performance in safety critical human-machine systems. The research includes analyses of existing systems, associability and soundimagery studies, and simulations for testing presentation logic.

National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-24470 (URN)
Conference
HFES
Note
QC 20100910 NR 20140804Available from: 2010-09-10 Created: 2010-09-10 Last updated: 2012-02-21Bibliographically approved
3. Auditory alerting systems: Design of sounds and their presentation logic
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Auditory alerting systems: Design of sounds and their presentation logic
2000 (English)In: Proceedings Engineering Psychology Cognitive Ergonomics, EPCE: 25-27 October 2000, Edinburgh, Scotland, 2000Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-24471 (URN)
Conference
EPCE
Note
QC 20100910 NR 20140804Available from: 2010-09-10 Created: 2010-09-10 Last updated: 2012-02-21Bibliographically approved
4. Associability: A comparison of sounds in a cognitive approach to auditory alert design
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Associability: A comparison of sounds in a cognitive approach to auditory alert design
2003 (English)In: Human Factors and Aerospace Safety, ISSN 1468-9456, Vol. 3, 313-331 p.Article in journal (Other academic) Published
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-24472 (URN)
Note
QC 20100910 NR 20140804Available from: 2010-09-10 Created: 2010-09-10 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
5. Soundimages for Cockpit Audio Alerting and Feedback
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Soundimages for Cockpit Audio Alerting and Feedback
(English)Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-24473 (URN)
Note

QCR 20160722

Available from: 2010-09-10 Created: 2010-09-10 Last updated: 2016-07-22Bibliographically approved
6. Simulations of Auditory Alerts Presentations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Simulations of Auditory Alerts Presentations
2003 (English)Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-24474 (URN)
Note
QC 20100910 NR 20140804Available from: 2010-09-10 Created: 2010-09-10 Last updated: 2012-02-21Bibliographically approved
7. Auditory and visual warnings in aircraft
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Auditory and visual warnings in aircraft
2002 (English)In: ANALYSIS, DESIGN AND EVALUATION OF HUMAN-MACHINE SYSTEMS 2001, ISSN 0962-9505, 53-57 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Extreme information overload during an aircraft accident was the origin of the project related. Interviews of pilots point at two major problems with the warning system of today: perceptual problems of too many auditory and visual signals and cognitive problems of understanding the alert messages. Experiments have shown that the existing sounds can be replaced by more associable sounds; soundimagery studies have shown that context related sounds are preferable. Furthermore, warning systems that provide messages on what to do next and show the pilot what is still operational are of greatest support to the pilot in difficult situations.

Keyword
warning systems, auditory and visual alerts and displays, commercial aircraft, pilot interviews, simulations, experiments
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-24476 (URN)000180832600009 ()
Note
QC 20100910 NR 20140804Available from: 2010-09-10 Created: 2010-09-10 Last updated: 2012-02-21Bibliographically approved

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