situated Cognitive Engineering Tool


Development of interactive, human-centered automation should be built on theory and empirical research. To support the development processes systematically, a situated Cognitive Engineering (sCE) method was constructed for building, maintaining and re-using design knowledge based on the following development principles:

  • Creating human-centered automation is a multi-disciplinary collaborative activity
  • Functional modules are defined and tested incrementally in an iterative refinement process
  • Design decisions are explicitly based on claims analyses, explicating the up-downside tradeoffs
  • Keeping and sharing the design rationale is key for progress and coherence in automation development


In an international project, the European Space Agency asked to establish a sound requirements baseline for a "Mission Execution Crew Assistant" (MECA) for future manned deep space missions (e.g. to Mars). As a concise method was lacking for the development of the envisioned human-automation system, a first version of the sCE method was constructed and applied. This method combines approaches from user-centered design, cognitive engineering and requirements analyses to establish a "self-explaining" requirements baseline consisting of:

  1. the domain, human factors and technological foundation
  2. the specification of the requirements and the corresponding use cases and claims
  3. the evaluations that validate these claims
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