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Implementation of an Information Processing Model for Task Network Simulation

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Technical Report

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Defense and Civil Institute of Environmental Medicine North York, Ontario Canada

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Task network simulation is an analytical technique that is widely used to predict operator performance andor workload during the early stages of systems design. Task network simulation is based on traditional time-line analysis methods, but allows the possibility of non-deterministic task characteristics such as completion times, sequences, outcomes etc. Many simulation environments allow task parameters to vary with various network states, which supports complex logical relationships, and time varying network behaviours. This report outlines the implementation of a theoretical framework for a new model of the human information processor for use in task network simulation. The development and validation of the Information Processing IP Model is described in detail else where. This report deals only with those aspects that are necessary to take the ideas of the IP Model and adapt them for direct application to task network simulation. The material contained in this report provides the bridge between the conceptual descriptions of the IP Model, and the software requirements necessary to put that concept into practice. As part of this process, many parameters are defined and assigned tentative values so that the model can be run within the task network simulation environment. In devising this implementation, many assumptions were made that are beyond the scope of earlier validation studies. Hence, further validation will be required to verify the model within the context of this implementation. As the specific purpose of the report is to describe the algorithmic and data base requirements for a specific software environment, some of the material is specific to that system. However, much of the material is of a more general nature and could be adapted to other software environments.

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