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Acquisition and Retention of Team Coordination in Command-and-Control

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Final rept. 15 Mar 2004-31 Dec 2006

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This report describes the technical progress accomplished under Air Force Office of Scientific Research AFOSR grant FA9550-04-1-0234 and Air Force Research Lab Funding grant FA8650-04-6442. This project took place in the context of simulated Uninhabited Air Vehicle UAV command-and-control. In Experiment 1 we addressed the development of team coordination with experience and over lengthy intervals without practice in situations in which the team retains the same or different members over time. Team coordination is characterized by timely and adaptive information exchange among team members. A procedural model of team coordination was developed and used to generate a model-based metric of team coordination. This metric was then applied to track coordination development in two experiments. Results from the first experiment, showing a team performance decrement and a longer-term process benefit due to longer retention intervals or changes in team composition were used to guide the development of a dynamical systems model of the acquisition and retention of team coordination. The model was then used to generate additional predictions that were tested empirically in a second experiment. In the second experiment, coordination was trained using a rigid procedural model, cross training, or perturbations in the environment constraining coordination. Results indicated that perturbation training resulted in superior team performance across more difficult missions. The dynamical systems model, coupled with the empirical results, generated various implications for training command-and-control. These results suggest that changes to team composition and to a lesser extent, longer retention intervals, may result in temporary performance decrements, but in the long run may be beneficial for building adaptive teams.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Pilotless Aircraft

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