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OPERATOR PERFORMANCE IN RELATION TO FUNCTIONALLY OR TOPOGRAPHICALLY PRESENTED PROCESS INFORMATION

NEWSLETTER ARTICLE

Recently researchers presented subjects with pictorial process information in two different forms, functional and topographical. Topographical information is information presented in the same configuration as it occurs in the process (e.g. a plot plan), while functional information presents the information in accordance with logical operational groupings (e.g. a flow diagram). The researchers found that no difference existed between the two presentation methods in relation to time to identify a particular process state. The time needed to perform control settings was shortest in the functional presentation mode, but the effect decreased with practice. In both presentation modes, experienced operators performed better than inexperienced operators. The researchers also suggest that both forms of information should be available to the operators for their use.

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