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Brain-Computer Interface-Based Adaptive Automation to Prevent Out-Of-The-Loop Phenomenon in Air Traffic Controllers Dealing With Highly Automated Systems

Di Flumeri, Gianluca and De Crescenzio, Francesca and Berberian, Bruno and Ohneiser, Oliver and Kraemer, Jan and Aricò, Pietro and Borghini, Gianluca and Babiloni, Fabio and Bagassi, Sara and Piastra, Sergio (2019) Brain-Computer Interface-Based Adaptive Automation to Prevent Out-Of-The-Loop Phenomenon in Air Traffic Controllers Dealing With Highly Automated Systems. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 13 (296), pp. 1-17. Frontiers Media S.A.. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2019.00296. ISSN 1662-5161.

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Official URL: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnhum.2019.00296/full


Increasing the level of automation in air traffic management is seen as a measure to increase the performance of the service to satisfy the predicted future demand. This is expected to result in new roles for the human operator: he will mainly monitor highly automated systems and seldom intervene. Therefore, air traffic controllers (ATCos) would often work in a supervisory or control mode rather than in a direct operating mode. However, it has been demonstrated how human operators in such a role are affected by human performance issues, known as Out-Of-The-Loop (OOTL) phenomenon, consisting in lack of attention, loss of situational awareness and deskilling. A countermeasure to this phenomenon has been identified in the adaptive automation (AA), i.e., a system able to allocate the operative tasks to the machine or to the operator depending on their needs. In this context, psychophysiological measures have been highlighted as powerful tool to provide a reliable, unobtrusive and real-time assessment of the ATCo's mental state to be used as control logic for AA-based systems. In this paper, it is presented the so-called "Vigilance and Attention Controller", a system based on electroencephalography (EEG) and eye-tracking (ET) techniques, aimed to assess in real time the vigilance level of an ATCo dealing with a highly automated human-machine interface and to use this measure to adapt the level of automation of the interface itself. The system has been tested on 14 professional ATCos performing two highly realistic scenarios, one with the system disabled and one with the system enabled. The results confirmed that (i) long high automated tasks induce vigilance decreasing and OOTL-related phenomena; (ii) EEG measures are sensitive to these kinds of mental impairments; and (iii) AA was able to counteract this negative effect by keeping the ATCo more involved within the operative task. The results were confirmed by EEG and ET measures as well as by performance and subjective ones, providing a clear example of potential applications and related benefits of AA.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/129418/
Document Type:Article
Additional Information:The MINIMA project has received funding from the SESAR Joint Undertaking under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 699282.
Title:Brain-Computer Interface-Based Adaptive Automation to Prevent Out-Of-The-Loop Phenomenon in Air Traffic Controllers Dealing With Highly Automated Systems
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Di Flumeri, Gianlucagianluca.diflumeri (at) brainsigns.comUNSPECIFIED
De Crescenzio, Francescafrancesca.decrescenzio (at) unibo.itUNSPECIFIED
Berberian, Brunobruno.berberian (at) onera.frUNSPECIFIED
Ohneiser, OliverOliver.Ohneiser (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-5411-691X
Kraemer, JanJan.Kraemer (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Aricò, Pietropietro.arico (at) brainsigns.comUNSPECIFIED
Borghini, Gianlucagianluca.borghini (at) uniroma1.itUNSPECIFIED
Babiloni, FabioFabio.Babiloni (at) uniroma1.itUNSPECIFIED
Bagassi, Sarasara.bagassi (at) unibo.itUNSPECIFIED
Piastra, Sergiosergio.piastra (at) unibo.itUNSPECIFIED
Date:6 September 2019
Journal or Publication Title:Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.3389/fnhum.2019.00296
Page Range:pp. 1-17
EditorsEmailEditor's ORCID iD
Im, Chang-HwanHanyang University, South KoreaUNSPECIFIED
Publisher:Frontiers Media S.A.
Keywords:Electroencephalography, Eye-tracking, Vigilance, Out-Of-The-Loop, Passive brain-computer interface, Adaptive Automation, Air Traffic Control, Human Machine Interface
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Aeronautics
HGF - Program Themes:air traffic management and operations
DLR - Research area:Aeronautics
DLR - Program:L AO - Air Traffic Management and Operation
DLR - Research theme (Project):L - Efficient Flight Guidance (old)
Location: Braunschweig
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Flight Guidance > Controller Assistance
Deposited By: Ohneiser, Oliver
Deposited On:14 Nov 2019 09:20
Last Modified:14 Nov 2019 09:20

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