Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Misty Blue-terry (Committee Member), Joseph Litko (Committee Member), Yan Liu (Committee Member), S. Narayanan (Committee Chair), Mateen Rizki (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


While there are broad guidelines for display or user interface design, creating effective human-computer interfaces for complex, dynamic systems control is challenging. Ad hoc approaches which consider the human as an afterthought are limiting. This research proposed a systematic approach to human / computer interface design that focuses on both the semantic and syntactic aspects of display design in the context of human-in-the-loop supervisory control of intelligent, autonomous multi-agent simulated unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). A systematic way to understand what needs to be displayed, how it should be displayed, and how the integrated system needs to be assessed is outlined through a combination of concepts from naturalistic decision making, semiotic analysis, and situational awareness literature. A new sprocket-based design was designed and evaluated in this research. For the practical designer, this research developed a systematic, iterative design process: design using cognitive sensitive principles, test the new interface in a laboratory situation; bring in subject matter experts to examine the interface in isolation; and finally, incorporate the resulting feedback into a full-size simulation. At each one of these steps, the operator, the engineer and the designer reexamined the results.

Page Count


Department or Program

Ph.D. in Engineering

Year Degree Awarded


Included in

Engineering Commons