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.
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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