Modern cyber operations require operators to maintain supervisory control of remote computer agents. A current operational concern is the number of agents an operator can control at once. This issue resonates with similar “span-of-control” research conducted in UAV operations (e.g., Cummings & Mitchel, 2008). One way to identify operator span is via “fan-out,” a numeric calculation that provides a span-of-control estimate based on system and environmental variables. However, fan-out is a mechanical representation that only accounts for task-characteristics and environmental variables, thus providing an upper bound of human performance that does account for cognition, workload, or work interruptions. The present study compares fan-out estimates against actual human performance in a supervisory control cyber task. Results are discussed and future research trajectories proposed.
Mancuso, V. F.,
Funke, G. J.,
Eckold, M. B.,
& Strang, A. J.
(2015). Human Span-Of-Control in Cyber Operations: An Experimental Evaluation of Fan-Out. 18th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 141-146.