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ISS Informal Systems Seminar

Dynamic Estimation of Mental Workload and Operator Accuracy in Human Automation Teams


Jun 5, 2024   10:00 AM — 11:00 AM

Raihan Seraj McGill University, Canada

Raihan Seraj

** Hybrid seminar at McGill University or Zoom.**

Human cognitive states, such as mental workload, play a pivotal role in decision making processes within human automation teams. Although subjective measures of mental workload can be obtained using standard questionnaires like the NASA-TLX, their administration is often impractical as it interferes with the primary tasks of the human operator. Therefore, it is of interest to estimate these subjective measures from less intrusive observations. Evidence suggests that mental workload is a dynamic process so incorporating historical measurements could reduce its estimation error. Additionally, the estimation of operator performance in human automation teams is essential in optimizing task effectiveness and facilitating efficient resource allocation. In this work, we present and compare different dynamic schemes to estimate an operator’s performance on classification tasks, i.e., classification accuracy and her subjective ratings on subscales of the NASA-TLX questionnaire, which measure mental workload across multiple dimensions. These schemes differ in the information available for estimation. We test these schemes on data collected from a scenario where a human and an automation perform a series of classification tasks for simulated mobile objects. Our analysis of the interaction data and the estimation schemes indicates that employing dynamic estimation for certain NASA-TLX subscale ratings leads to decreased estimation errors. However, similar conclusions cannot be drawn with certainty for the estimation of the operator classification accuracy.

Bio: Raihan Seraj is a PhD candidate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, McGill University.

Peter E. Caines organizer
Aditya Mahajan organizer
Shuang Gao organizer
Borna Sayedana organizer
Alex Dunyak organizer


McGill University
Macdonald Engineering Building
Room MD 267
817 rue Sherbrooke Ouest
Montréal Québec H3A 0C3

Associated organization

Centre for intelligent machines (CIM)