Sean G. Kern

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Henry B. Potoczny, PhD


The choice to include the human in the decision process affects four key areas of system design: problem representation, system analysis and design, solution technique selection, and interface requirements specification. I introduce a design methodology that captures the necessary choices associated with each of these areas. In particular I show how this methodology is applied to the design of an actual decision Support system for satellite operations scheduling. Supporting the user's ability to monitor the actions of the system and to guide the decision process of the system are two key considerations in the successful design of a decision support system. Both of these points rely on the correct specification of human-computer interaction points. Traditional, computer-centered system design approaches do not do this well, if at all, and are insufficient for the design of decision support systems. These approaches typically leave the definition of human-computer interaction points till after the component and system level designs are complete. This is too late however since the component and system level design decisions can impose inflexible constraints on the choice of the human-computer interaction points. This often leads to the design of human-computer interaction points that are only "good enough." These approaches result in ill-conceived problem representations and poor user-system interaction points because the system lacks the underlying architecture to support these constructs efficiently. Decision support systems require a new, human-centered design approach rather than the traditional computer-centered approaches.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number