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Human-Automation Interaction

Since the mid 90s, I have been working on various aspects of human-automation interaction. Given the many airline accidents in which inadequate pilot interaction with the automation was a factor, it became important for us to understand such interaction problems and to identify their causes. I began this work while I was a graduate student at Georgia Tech. My advisor Alex Kirlik and I started to entertain the idea that it may be possible to mathematically model interfaces, user interaction, and procedures. We developed a modeling framework called OFAN and found it useful for describing user interaction and pinpointing design problems. I wrote my Ph.D. dissertation on the topic of modes and patterns of interaction with automated systems. At NASA, I collaborated with Michael Heymann and Michael Shafto to develop a theory and methodology that enables designers to mathematically analyze user interaction with automated control systems.


Degani, A. (2004). Taming HAL: Designing interfaces beyond 2001. New York: St. Martin's Press/Palgrave-Macmillan. 320 pages, 105 figures.

Degani, A. (2004). Beyond the Interface. (A book chapter, from Taming HAL, about the problem of automation locks in the design of modern control systems).

Degani A., & Heymann, M. (2003). Analysis and Verification of Human-Automation Interfaces. In D. Harris, V. Duffy, M. Smith, C. Stephanidis, (Eds.), Human Centered Computing: Cognitive, Social and Ergonomic Aspects, Vol.3, pp. 185-189. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. (Proceedings of the10th International Conference on Human - Computer Interaction, Crete, June 22-27, 2003). Invited lecture.

Oishi M., Tomlin, C., & Degani, A. (2003). Discrete Abstraction of Hybrid Systems: Verification of Safety and Application to User Interface Design. NASA Technical Memorandum #212803. Moffett Field, CA: NASA Ames Research Center.

Degani, A., & Heymann, M. (2002). Formal verification of human-automation interaction. Human Factors, 44(1), 28-43.

Oishi, M,. Mitchell, I., Bayen, A., Tomlin, C., and Degani, A. (2002). Hybrid verification of an interface for Automatic landing. IEEE 2002 Conference on Decision and Control. Las Vegas, Nevada.

Degani, A., Heymann, M., Meyer, G., & Shafto, M. (2000). Some Formal Aspects of Human-Automation Interaction. NASA Technical Memorandum #209600. Moffett Field, CA: NASA Ames Research Center.

Degani, A., & Heymann, M. (2000). Pilot-autopilot interaction: A formal perspective . Eighth International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction in Aeronautics. Toulouse, France.

Shafto, M., Degani, A., & Kirlik, A. (1997). Canonical correlation analysis of data on human-automation interaction . Proceedings of the 41st Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. Albuquerque, NM: Human Factors Society.

Degani, A., & Kirlik, A. (1998). Describing the contributors to mode error. Proceedings of the Fourth Symposium on Human Interaction with Complex Systems (HICS'98). Dayton, Ohio.

Andre, A., & Degani, A. (1997). Do you know what mode you're in? An analysis of mode error in everyday things. In M. Mouloua and J. M. Koonce (Eds.), Human-automation interaction: Research and practice (pp. 19-28). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Degani, A., & Kirlik, A. (1997). Modeling human interaction with semi-automated control systems to identify interface design problems. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and Human Activity Support for Nuclear Applications (AIR & IHAS '97). Wako-shi, Saitama, Japan. Invited lecture.

Degani, A. (1997). On the types of modes in human-machine interactions. In R. S. Jensen (Ed.), Proceedings of the Ninth International Aviation Psychology Symposium. Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University.

Degani, A. (1996). Modeling Human-Machine Systems: On Modes, Error, and Patterns of Interaction. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation. School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA.

Degani, A., Shafto, M., & Kirlik, A. (1996). Modes in Automated Cockpits: Problems, Data Analysis, and a Modeling Framework. Proceedings of the 36th Israel Conference on Aerospace Sciences. Haifa: Technion-IT.

Degani, A., & Kirlik, A. (1995). Modes in Human-Automation Interaction: Initial Observations about a Modeling Approach . Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics (SMC). Vancouver, Canada: IEEE.

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