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A Comparative Appraisal of

Cognitive Task Analysis in
Human-System Interaction
Presented by
Conceptualized by
OB Division, DIPR, DRDO, Ministry of
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Roadmap to the presentation

 Introduction to Human system
(computer) interaction (HSI)
 Different methods of task analysis in
 Cognitive Task Analysis
 Steps of CTA
 Attaining better Human System Co-
ordination by CTA
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Birth of Human System

 Natural course of development

 Industrial development

 Rapid change during and after
World War II
 Information technology revolution

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Different tradition to deal with HSI

 Ergonomics by Dutch
 Work Analysis by French
 Functional Task Analysis by British
Currently researchers and practitioners are moving
towards a user centric model of human system
 What users want to do?
 What are their
 tasks?
What are the nature of their task?
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Towards a user centric paradigm of
Human System Interaction

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Organization and task requirement

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Historical roots to task analysis
 Scientific management- Taylor, 1911
 Hawthorne studies- 1927-
 Herzberg’s two factor theory- 1966
 Hackman and Oldham- 1975
 The Socio Technical System Approach

Categories of task analysis
 Efficiency oriented task analysis
 Solution oriented task analysis

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Use of Task analysis
 Safety
 Productivity
 Allocation of function
 Person specification
 Job organization and staffing
 Task and interface design
 Skill and knowledge acquisition
 Performance assurance
 Provide bases for design decision

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Areas of Task Analysis
 Task data collection
 Task description
 Task requirement evaluation
 Task simulation
 Task behavior assessment

Stages of Product Development
 Conceive
 Design
 Implement
 Operate
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Hierarchical Task Analysis (HTA)
It is to used to evaluate an organization’s training
needs the underlying technique, hierarchical
decomposition analyzes and represents the behavior
al aspects of complex tasks such as planning, diagn
osis and decision making
Steps in HTA
 Identification of the goal
 Description of the goal
 Breaking up the tasks
 Determining the stop point
 P . C Rule
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Advantages of HTA
 Provide a model for task execution
 Enabling designers to envision a goal,
subtasks and operations
 Decomposing complex tasks

Disadvantages of HTA
 Need to much expertise
 Design centric

 Lack of focus on socio-cultural processes

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Cognitive Modeling
How brain and body respond with coordination in a
specific course of situation is given by cognitive
psychologists Norman (1988) “Natural Mapping”.
Norman et al thought about a Model Human Processor
(MHP), which assumes that human being is able to
perform different information processing operations
such as comparing, matching and calculating.
Card et. al. developed the engineering model of
performance called GOMS. According to Card et al
GOMS enables the MHP’s characterizations of human
performance to be applied on task analysis.
The purpose of task analysis is to map out the
constrains imposed on behavior by the nature and
feature of task requirements.
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GOMS stands for Goals, Operations, Methods and
Selection rules
G Goals is defined as a set of symbolic structures
that defines a state of affairs to be achieved and
defines a set of methods to achieve it.
O Operators are defined as elementary perceptual,
motor or cognitive acts whose execution is
necessary to change any aspect of the user’s
mental state or to affect the task environment.
M Method is defined as description of procedures
to achieve the goal and is one of the ways that
users store their knowledge.
S Selection rule determines that how user selects a
particular method, and can be used to predict
which method the user will select on the basis of
knowledge of task environment
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Cognitive Task Analysis (CTA)

Cognitive task analysis is an extension of traditional
task analysis to yield information about the
knowledge, thought processes and goal structures
and that underlies the observable performance.
(Chipman, Schragen & Shalin, 2000)
The outcome of CTA is description of performance
objectives, equipment, conceptual and procedural
knowledge and performance standard used by expert
while performing the task.

There are more than 100 varieties of cognitive task
analysis developed by the practitioners. Cooke (1994)
in his review categorized these CTA techniques in
broad families of techniques.
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Four families of CTA methods
Observation and interviews
Informal and provide much flexibility
Process tracing
More structured
Conceptual technique
Well balanced and most formal
Formal models (Wei and Salveendy, 2004)
use simulation to model task in cognitive domain

The five common steps performed in most of the CTA
 Collect preliminary knowledge
 Identifying knowledge representation
 Applying focused knowledge elicitation method
 Analyze and verify data acquired
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 Format results for the intended application
Collect preliminary knowledge
 Document analysis
 Observation
 Unstructured interviews
Identifying knowledge representation
 Learning hierarchy analysis
Applying focused knowledge elicitation method
 Concept, process and principles
 Critical decision method
Analyze and verify data acquired
Format result for the intended application
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Advantages of cognitive task analysis

 A comprehensive approach
 Putting goods of all methods together
 Interdisciplinary nature
 Constructivist context
 Less time taking
 Domain as well as holistic focus
 Variety
 More user centric
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Future researches

 Applied Cognitive Task Analysis (ACTA)

 Cost effectiveness and cost benefit analysis

 Usability of the CTA products

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“The dreams of yesterday
are the hopes of today and
the realities of tomorrow “

Thank you

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