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Determinants of Conflict Detection: A Model of Risk Judgments in Air Traffic Control

Abstract : OBJECTIVE: A model of conflict judgments in air traffic control (ATC) is proposed. BACKGROUND: Three horizontal distances determine risk judgments about conflict between two aircraft: (a) Dt(o) is the distance between the crossing of the aircraft trajectories and the first aircraft to reach that point; (b) Dt(h) is the distance between the two aircraft when they are horizontally closest; and (c) Dt(v) is the horizontal distance between the two aircraft when their growing vertical distance reaches 1000 feet. METHODS: Two experiments tested whether the variables in the model reflect what controllers do. In Experiment 1, 125 certified controllers provided risk judgments about situations in which the model variables were manipulated. Experiment 2 investigated the relationship between the model and expertise by comparing a population of certified controllers with a population of ATC students. RESULTS: Across both experiments, the model accounted for 44% to 50% of the variance in risk judgments by certified controllers (N=161) but only 20% in judgments by ATC students (N=88). There were major individual differences in the predictive power of the model as well as in the contributions of the three variables. In Experiment 2, the model described experts better than novices. CONCLUSION: The model provided a satisfying account of the data, albeit with substantial individual differences. It is argued that an individual-differences approach is required when investigating the strategies involved in conflict judgment in ATC. APPLICATION: These findings should have implications for developing user-friendly interfaces with conflict detection devices and for devising ATC training programs.
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Submitted on : Saturday, September 26, 2020 - 12:09:16 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 27, 2020 - 1:14:02 PM

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Stéphanie Stankovic, Éric Raufaste, Philippe Averty. Determinants of Conflict Detection: A Model of Risk Judgments in Air Traffic Control. Human Factors, SAGE Publications, 2008, 50 (1), pp.121-134. ⟨10.1518/001872008x250584⟩. ⟨hal-02949869⟩



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