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- The current research was motivated by the recommendation made by a joint Government/Industry committee to introduce a new traffic control system, referred to as the Free Flight. This system is designed to use recent new technology to facilitate efficient and safe air transportation. We addressed one of the major difficulties that arise in the design of this and similar multi-agent systems: the adaptive (and slippery) nature of human agents. To facilitate a safe and efficient design of this multi-agent system, designers have to rely on assessments of the expected behavior of the different agents under various scenarios. Whereas the behavior of the computerized agents is predictable, the behavior of the human agents (including air traffic controllers and pilots) is not. Experimental and empirical observations suggest that human agents are likely to adjust their behavior to the design of the system. To see the difficulty that the adaptive nature of human agents creates assume that a good approximation of the way operators currently behave is available. Given this information an optimal design can be performed. The problem arises as the human operator will learn to adjust their behavior to the new system. Following this adjustment process the assumptions made by the designer concerning the operators behavior will no longer be accurate and the system might reach a suboptimal state. In extreme situations these potential suboptimal states might involve unnecessary risk. That is, the fact that operators learn in an adaptive fashion does not imply that the system will become safer as they gain experience. At least in the context of Safety dilemmas, experience can lead to a pareto deficient risk taking behavior.
- Other Subject(s):
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20000025044.
- No Copyright.
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