DYNAMIC BEHAVIOR OF OPERATING CREW IN COMPLEX SYSTEMS: AN OBJECT-BASED MODELING & SIMULATION APPROACH
MetadataShow full item record
High-risk environments such as the control room of Nuclear Power Plants are extremely stressful for the front line operators; during accidents and under high task load situations, the operators are solely responsible for the ultimate decision-making and control of such complex systems. Individuals working as a team constantly interact with each other and therefore introduce team related issues such as coordination, supervision and conflict resolution. The aggregate impact of multiple human errors inside communication and coordination loops in a team context can give rise to complex human failure modes and failure mechanisms. This research offers a model of operating crew as an interactive social unit and investigates the dynamic behavior of the team under upset situations through a simulation method. The domain of interest in this work is the class of operating crew environments that are subject to structured and regulated guidelines with formal procedures providing the core of their response to accident conditions. In developing the cognitive models for the operators and teams of operators, their behavior and relations, this research integrates findings from multiple disciplines such as cognitive psychology, human factors, organizational factors, and human reliability. An object-based modeling methodology is applied to represent system elements and different roles and behaviors of the members of the operating team. The proposed team model is an extended version of an existing cognitive model of individual operator behavior known as IDAC (Information, Decision, and Action in Crew context). Scenario generation follows DPRA (Dynamic Probabilistic Risk Assessment) methodologies. The method capabilities are demonstrated through building and simulating a simplified model of a steam/power generating plant. Different configurations of team characteristics and influencing factors have been simulated and compared. The effects of team factors and crew dynamics on system risk with main focus on team errors, associated causes and error management processes and their impact on team performance have been studied through a large number of simulation runs. The results are also compared with several theoretical models and empirical studies.