for Maintenance Facilities
Satoko Matsuo,Takashi Nakagawa,Yoshio Nakatani, and Tadashi Ohi
Industrial Electronics & Systems Lab., Mitsubishi Electric Corp.
In designing a human-machine interface (HMI), it is important to iteratively make prototypes of the product, evaluate, and give feedback on the design. Especially, because nuclear power plants are required to have HMIs of good quality, the iterations should be made many times. On the other hand, there are many evaluation methods, such as making prototypes, evaluating them using actual operators, estimating human error rates, and checking guidelines. Because each of them deals with particular aspects of HMI problems, the analyst should combine them for comprehensive evaluation and analysis. It is difficult to iterate the evaluation because it costs much time and money. The authors proposed a new method to evaluate and analyze the HMI design of plant equipment easily and rapidly. They have implemented the system as DIAS1, an HMI evaluation method by using computer simulation.
The evaluation process of DIAS can be divided into three parts: data editing, interaction simulation, and analyzing. The simulation part of DIAS simulates the interaction between the operator and the plant equipment with the operator simulator and the HMI simulator. These simulators require an operating procedure and human-machine interface design data. The operator simulator executes tasks by following the procedure. The analyzing part calculates indices for quantitative evaluation, such as moving course and length of the operator, length of the eye movement, execution time, and human error probability. By analyzing the indices, the analyst can compare the HMIs of several designs relatively. This is similar to benchmark testing to evaluate computer performance of given tasks.____________________