Philosophies of Automation

Wiener's Philosophies of Automation

Flight Management by Exception

  • Allows the crews to have maximum flexibility in devices operation, and the warning and alert systems can give a signal when an unacceptable situation is almost to occur.
  • As long as the flight stayed with an "electronic cocoon," which is a system of multidimensional shell around the aircraft and crew that would leave the crew to fly alone as they saw fit. The system would issue an exception message when it has been penetrated or had forecast to be. The exception message may be extended to suggest for remedying the situation, or the machine may take action on its own in extreme cases.

Forecasting and " Trending"

  • A wise quality control engineer does not wait for a process to go out of control. The statistical techniques would be applied to test for trends to run, when if the controller senses a trend (nonrandom or systematic variation) developing.
  • If a penetration of the electronic cocoon has been reported to take place, the crew would receive an exception message even it's still in the normal readings range.
  • Why wait to puncture the cocoon? According to the philosophy of the flight management by exception that allows the crew to have maximum flexibility to control the unacceptable condition, the crew can select the forecasting parameters. There would be a range of sensitivity from "hair-trigger" crews to "leave me alone till you're sure it looks bad" crews in the bounds of safety, the crew may able to ask for further extrapolations before to make the necessary decisions.

Goal Sharing

  • Goal sharing can be also called intent-driven systems that need the crew firstly make the plan (what they want to do), and then the computer will compare the intentional plan and the system outputs to ensure if the intentional plan is logically match with the strategic plan. If not, the system would issue an exception report.
  • Once the strategic goals have been confirmed by the computer, it's able to check further inputs and the aircreft's position (included its forecast position) for consistency with the overall goal.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Expert Systems

  • The intelligent machines are underway to be prompt developed for mimic human reasoning. It so-called "ruled-based" expert systems if rely on sets of rules, or "knowledge-based expert systems if rely on inferred human knowledge in a manner that approaches human intelligence.
  • AI should be able to extend the ability in monitoring the progress of flight, checking human inputs, and providing the logic to implement the philosophies of automation described above.
1. COCKPIT AUTOMATION, Earl L. Wiener (1988). Human Factor in Aviation Academic press, Inc., 1988.
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Want to know more?

Manufacturer's Philosophies on Automation
Airbus, Boeing, and McDonnell-Douglas automation manufacturing philosophies.
Principles of Human-Centered Aviation Automation
The principle requirements of the human operators authority and the automated systems design.

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