NASA SBIR 2003 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 03- II F2.02-8875
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Multi-agent and Human-centric Systems Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: Evolvable Work-practice Interfaces Between Humans and Agents

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Subrata K. Das
sdas@cra.com
625 Mount Auburn Street
Cambridge, MA 02138-4555
(617)491-3474
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: Yes

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Safe and effective interactions between humans and complex systems represent a requirement for practically all of NASA's missions. The first-of-a-kind nature of such systems and the range of unpredictable events they are likely to be confronted with raises considerable design issues. To address this challenge we propose the development of an environment for Evolvable Work-practice Interfaces between Humans and Agents, which adapts activity theory to the situated nature of action. During Phase I we have developed a scenario for modeling interactions with Advanced Life Support Systems, we have modeled the associated human activities, and criteria through which activities and actions are employed. The experiments conducted using the BRAHMS work-practice simulation environment have demonstrated the feasibility of the approach and its potential to generate and capture critical interaction cases.
During Phase II we will expand our scenario to include additional potential challenges, we will expand our model for describing work activities and work practices, and the way they operate during human system interaction. We also propose to expand the simulation capabilities of the BRAHMS environment to increase the insight of experimenters into their simulations, and we will provide criteria for evaluating the soundness and performance of the proposed model and implementations.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
The approach described could of benefit in high-risk high value mission control environments, such nuclear power stations and air traffic control centers. Additional important applications include the conduct of work activities in Air Operation Centers and in other C2 environments. Lastly, but not least important are the benefits for complex monitoring systems in healthcare and in logistic operations.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
The proposed approach presents relevant application opportunities in a range of NASA application domains. They include the development of human-system interfaces for extra-vehicular activities, for the remote control of robots and vehicles, and for conducting scientific experiments through remote interfaces. The approach is particularly relevant for human interactions with systems during long-duration manned flights. Finally, the approach is likely to find multiple applications in the area of gournd operations control.