Special Issue on Human-Centered Automation

A special issue of the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering.

Download the Call for Papers (PDF).


The growing prevalence and scope of automation is evident not only large-scale infrastructure (nextGen transportation systems, aircraft flight management systems, smart grid technologies), but also in small-scale and consumer products (Google Car, the PR2, Nest). Automation encompasses not only simple, repetitive tasks, but also many sophisticated functionalities. However, even in systems in which automation has replaced functionality previously performed by humans, the human is still a central player. As automation becomes “smarter” and more ubiquitous, it is paramount that the human interact with the controlled systems in a safe and efficient way, to help prevent problems in human-automation interaction. In recent years, advances have been made in understanding the behavior of systems with humans and automation: techniques have been developed to enhance situational awareness, to develop a common operating picture across multiple users, and to build predictive models of human behavior in different contexts. However, significant work remains to be done in the development of core scientific and engineering principles in human-automation systems. Analysis and design principles and metrics are needed to guide the design of human-centered control paradigms for semi-autonomous systems. The central heme of the proposed special issue is tools and methods for the design and analysis of human-centered automation systems. Articles in the special issue will focus on generalizable techniques for human-centered automation, as opposed to narrow case studies. Applications may be within or across a wide range of disciplines and physical scales, including biomedical devices, driver assistance systems, aircraft flight management systems, smart buildings, decision aids in supervisory systems, air traffic systems, and others. 

Scope, Description, and More Information

Novel contributions are sought that may include, but are not limited to:

  • the design and validation of computational models of a system which integrate models of the human with models of autonomous and semi-autonomous systems, such as systems which infer intent of a human operator;
  • the design of systems which ease the exchange of information between humans and autonomous systems; 
  • the analysis and prediction of potential conflicts between the human and the automation; 
  • the design of autonomy to accommodate varying levels of human experience, training, and acuity; 
  • the analysis of information asymmetry in collaborative, semi-autonomous systems; 
  • the design of autonomy for off-nominal conditions, such as multiple sensor failures, human error, or other cascading events; 
  • the design of autonomy to support systems with multiple humans; 
  • the design of autonomous systems which are “self-aware”, so that humans are prompted to intervene when required;

Important Dates

Paper submission deadline February 15, 2015
Acceptance notification September 2015
Tentative publication date January 2016

Paper Submission

All papers are to be submitted through the Manuscript Central for T-ASE at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/t-ase. All manuscripts must be prepared according to the IEEE T-ASE publication guidelines and will be reviewed following the standard IEEE T-ASE review process.

Guest Editiors

Meeko Oishi
Assistant Professor
Electrical & Comp. Eng.
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131 
Email: oishi@unm.edu 

Dawn Tilbury
Assoc. Dean of Research & Grad. Ed.
Professor, Mechanical Engineering
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 
Email: tilbury@umich.edu

Claire J. Tomlin
Charles A. Desoer Chair
Professor, Elec. Eng. & Comp. Sciences
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720
Email: tomlin@eecs.berkeley.edu 

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