The Impact of Information Integration in a Simulation of Future Submarine Command and Control

Steph Michailovs, Stephen Pond, Megan Schmitt, Jessica Irons, Matthew Stoker, Troy A.W. Visser, Samuel Huf, Shayne Loft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Web of Science)


Objective: Examine the extent to which increasing information integration across displays in a simulated submarine command and control room can reduce operator workload, improve operator situation awareness, and improve team performance. Background: In control rooms, the volume and number of sources of information are increasing, with the potential to overwhelm operator cognitive capacity. It is proposed that by distributing information to maximize relevance to each operator role (increasing information integration), it is possible to not only reduce operator workload but also improve situation awareness and team performance. Method: Sixteen teams of six novice participants were trained to work together to combine data from multiple sensor displays to build a tactical picture of surrounding contacts at sea. The extent that data from one display were available to operators at other displays was manipulated (information integration) between teams. Team performance was assessed as the accuracy of the generated tactical picture. Results: Teams built a more accurate tactical picture, and individual team members had better situation awareness and lower workload, when provided with high compared with low information integration. Conclusion: A human-centered design approach to integrating information in command and control settings can result in lower workload, and enhanced situation awareness and team performance. Application: The design of modern command and control rooms, in which operators must fuse increasing volumes of complex data from displays, may benefit from higher information integration based on a human-centered design philosophy, and a fundamental understanding of the cognitive work that is carried out by operators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1473-1490
Number of pages18
JournalHuman Factors
Issue number7
Early online date27 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


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