NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Space Human Factors Engineering
PROPOSAL TITLE:An Automated Evaluation and Critiquing Aid for User Interface Design

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
211 N. First St., Suite 300
Minneapolis, MN 55401-1476
(612) 716-4015

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Christopher   Miller
211 N. First St., Suite 300
Minneapolis, MN  55401-1476
(612) 716-4015

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
We will leverage our prior work on Adaptive Information Management (AIM) to provide a core reasoning capability for use in an interactive and quantitative evaluation aid to assist designers in developing user interfaces (UIs). We have a task-linked information representation and associated algorithms for reasoning about the information needs of a set of user tasks, the information presentation capabilities of a set of devices and formats, and the degree of match between the two. These have served as the basis of multiple, successful AIM systems in the past. In Phase I, we developed an architecture for making our core representation more interactive and subject to user guidance-- turning our AIM into a Multi-modal Advisor for Interface Design (a MAID). We demonstrated the effectiveness of the resulting evaluation algorithm in a set of 10 "walkthrough" experiments illustrating quantitative feedback on the adequacy of interface concepts for the types of procedures and displays under consideration for NASA's Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV). In Phase 2, we propose to implement a prototype version of this approach in an integrated suite of software tools for procedure authoring and demonstrate it on a set of procedure execution displays for a NASA vehicle or platform (notionally, CEV).

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The NASA market for a tool to support the evaluation of procedure execution interface designs includes manned mission contexts, such as Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) missions; ground operations; maintenance; and space station operations. In Phase 2, we will integrate our display evaluation tool into a suite of procedure authoring software created initially for International Space Station and under consideration for CEV?thus, enhancing our relevance for both, as well as for future platforms or retrofits which may make use of this body of aiding tools for procedure development within NASA. Our tool will enhance crew effectiveness, efficiency, autonomy, and safety by improving procedure execution support through the use of well-formed supporting displays generated under user control but with substantial knowledge, expertise and exhaustive evaluation applied to review, support and critiquing.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Non-NASA commercial applications include virtually any domain in which complex procedures are developed, maintained and revised for specific instances of use. Such domains include military operations, commercial aviation, medicine, power generation and many forms of manufacturing. We are initially targeting an application for the industrial processing industry where losses due to poor execution of procedures account for a large portion of the estimated $10B per year in lost revenues, and where highly complex procedures for startup and shutdown of plants must be rehearsed and adapted weeks before they are executed. We have already made contact with members of the largest collaborative research organization for the petrochemical industry in the US and will be presenting our tool concepts to them. We envision licensing our technology to them and participating in the process of adapting it to the petrochemical refining domain.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Autonomous Reasoning/Artificial Intelligence
Computer System Architectures
Data Input/Output Devices
Database Development and Interfacing
Expert Systems
Human-Computer Interfaces
Operations Concepts and Requirements
Pilot Support Systems
Software Development Environments
Testing Requirements and Architectures

Form Printed on 07-25-06 17:04