Spot the difference: Operational event sequence diagrams as a formal method for work allocation in the development of single-pilot operations for commercial aircraft

Don Harris, Neville A. Stanton, Alison Starr

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    13 Citations (Scopus)
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    Function Allocation methods are important for the appropriate allocation of tasks between humans and automated systems. It is proposed that Operational Event Sequence Diagrams (OESDs) provide a simple yet rigorous basis upon which allocation of work can be assessed. This is illustrated with respect to a design concept for a passenger aircraft flown by just a single pilot where the objective is to replace or supplement functions normally undertaken by the second pilot with advanced automation. A scenario-based analysis (take off) was used in which there would normally be considerable demands and interactions with the second pilot. The OESD analyses indicate those tasks that would be suitable for allocation to automated assistance on the flight deck and those tasks that are now redundant in this new configuration (something that other formal Function Allocation approaches cannot identify). Furthermore, OESDs are demonstrated to be an easy to apply and flexible approach to the allocation of function in prospective systems. Practitioner Summary: OESDs provide a simple yet rigorous basis upon which allocation of work can be assessed. The technique can deal with the flexible, dynamic allocation of work and the deletion of functions no longer required. This is illustrated using a novel design concept for a single-crew commercial aircraft.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1773–1791.
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015



    • allocation of function
    • flight deck design
    • reduced crewing
    • operational event sequence diagrams
    • task analysis

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