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News 2017

Analysing adaptive performance to improve safety in complex systems

To cope with variations, disturbances, and unexpected events in safety-critical work, such as cockpit operations and crisis management, people are required to continuously adapt to the changing environment, sometimes in novel and innovative ways. In her thesis, Amy Rankin examines what enables and disables successful adaptations, and how contextual factors shape performance. Examples include a crisis command team dealing with the loss of key personnel, a crew coping with unreliable system feedback in the cockpit, and a nursing team managing an overload of patients.

Two main contributions of the thesis is the analysis of cases of people coping with variations and disturbances, and the development of conceptual models to report findings, structure cases, and make sense of sharp-end adaptations in complex work settings. The findings emphasise that adaptive performance outside procedures and textbook scenarios at the sharp end is a critical ability to cope with variation and unexpected events. However, the results also show that adaptations may come at the cost of new vulnerabilities and system brittleness. Analysing adaptive performance in everyday events informs safety management by making visible limitations and possibilities of system design, organisational structures, procedures, and training.
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Energy-Efficiency in many-core stream processing

From Social media to scientific research, from mobile multimedia to Internet of things, there is an overwhelming need to process more data faster, while targetting energy sobriety. In his thesis, Nicolas Melot explores the Crown Scheduling technique and designs the Drake programming framework in order to build energy-efficient stream programs for many-core processors.
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