Campus Units

Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Human Computer Interaction, Virtual Reality Applications Center

Document Type


Publication Version

Accepted Manuscript

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems

Research Focus Area(s)

Information Engineering, Ergonomics and Human Factors, ​Operations Research




An empirical study evaluated key human factors issues related to automation visibility and information quality, based on a refined definition of information automation. Next-generation air transportation system operational concepts will dramatically affect the types and amount of information available on flight decks. Information automation systems collect, process, and present information to support pilot tasks and awareness. The definition of flight deck information automation was refined to differentiate it from other types of automation. Pilots interacted with an example information automation system to investigate the premise that automation visibility will have an impact on the ability of pilots to detect problems resulting from poor information quality. Poor information quality appeared to be difficult for pilots to detect, even when presented with high automation visibility. Pilots tended to over-trust automation, so when reporting high workload and information was missing, they chose the top plan suggested by the automation even though it was not the best. Trust in automation was reduced by low information quality, but compensated for by increased automation visibility. Added information to help pilots understand information automation state and outputs, given a level of information quality, should be balanced against potential increases in pilot workload due to the time and attention needed to process the extra information.


This is a manuscript of an article published as Dorneich, Michael C., Rachel Dudley, Emmanuel Letsu-Dake, William Rogers, Stephen D. Whitlow, Michael C. Dillard, and Erik Nelson. "Interaction of Automation Visibility and Information Quality in Flight Deck Information Automation." IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems (2017), doi:10.1109/THMS.2017.2717939. Posted with permission.


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File Format


Published Version