Extensive efforts have been performed to reveal factors that largely affect to the safety of nuclear power plants (NPPs). Among them, human factors were known as a dominant cause of a severe accident, such as Three Mile Island and Chernobyl accidents. Thus a lot of efforts to resolve human factors related problems have been spent, and one of these efforts is an advanced control room (ACR) design to enhance human performance and the safety of NPPs.
There are two important trends in the design of ACRs. The first one is increasing automation level, and the second one is the development of computer based compact workstations for control room operations including intelligent operator aid systems.
However, several problems have been reported when another factors are not properly incorporated into the design of ACRs. Among them, one of the most important factors that significantly affect to operator performance is the design of human machine interfaces (HMIs). Thus, HMI evaluation should be emphasized to ensure appropriateness of HMI designs and the safety of NPPs.
In general, two kinds of evaluations have been frequently used to assess appropriateness of the proposed HMI design. The one is the static evaluation and the other is the dynamic evaluation. Here, the static evaluation is the one based on guidelines that are extracted from various researches on HMI designs. And the dynamic evaluation generally attempts to evaluate and predict human performance through a model that can describe cognitive behaviors of human or interactions between HMIs and human. However, the static evaluation seems to be inappropriate because it can``t properly capture context of task environment that strongly affects to human performance. In addition, in case of dynamic evaluations, development of a model that can sufficiently describe interactions or cognitive behaviors of human operators is very arduous and laborious.
To overcome these problems, dynamic evaluation methods that can eva...