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Joint Cognitive Systems: Introduction to Cognitive Systems Engineering

FDA003, 2005HT

Status Archive
School Computer and Information Science (CIS)
Division CSE
Owner Erik Hollnagel
Homepage http://www.ida.liu.se/~eriho/JCS/Index.htm

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Course plan

No of Lectures

30 hours (10*3 hours)

Recommended for

Graduate students at the HMI school and IDA, as well as qualified participants from other universities, research institutes, and industry.

The course was last given

VT 2002


To provide a unified presentation of the concepts and methods of Cognitive Systems Engineering (CSE). CSE is an technical discipline that offers a coherent view on the analysis, design and evaluation of joint cognitive systems, which goes beyond human factors, human-machine interaction and HCI. CSE offers a proactive (coping) perspective as an alternative to a reactive (information processing) approach.


Status as graduate student.


Guided discussions based on reading of course books. Three course exercises, possibly including small field studies. Writing and presentation of one larger exercise.


The course presents the main concepts, data, and methods of Cognitive Systems Engineering. The concepts are the basic hypotheses and assumptions about the domain of human work. The data define the empirical basis for CSE, and thereby provide the justification for the concepts. The methods, finally, refer to the consistent and systematic ways in which the concepts and the data of CSE can be applied. The application can have a practical or utilitarian purpose such as in design, i.e., the specification and implementation of a specific (joint) cognitive system. It can also have a more scientific purpose, such as improving the understanding of the set of causes that have led to a specific consequence, or understanding the way in which various aspects or conditions interact, for instance in the development of automation. Focus on the use of CSE for interface design and evaluation, development of tools and support systems, risk and reliability analysis, and accident investigation.


Hollnagel, E. & Woods, D. D. (2005). Joint cognitive systems: Foundations of cognitive systems engineering. Boca Raton, FL: Francis & Taylor / CRC Press. (ISBN 0-8493-2821-7)
Wiener, N. (1988; org. 1954). The human use of human beings: Cybernetics and society. New York: Da Capo Press. (ISBN 0-306-80320-8).
Supplementary selected papers from Cognition, Technology & Work (available online from the LIU library).


Erik Hollnagel, with some possibility of guest lecturers.


Erik Hollnagel


Attendance to all sessions + completion of three course exercises (possibly small field studies) + final term paper.


5 p


The course is scheduled as a compact course and therefore quite labour intensive. In addition to attending the two sessions every week, participants should be willing and able to spend at least one full day per week for course assignments.

Page responsible: Director of Graduate Studies
Last updated: 2012-05-03