Using signal detection theory and time window-based human-in-the-loop simulation as a tool for assessing the effectiveness of different qualitative shapes in continuous monitoring tasks

Jung Hyup Kim, Ling Rothrock, Jason Laberge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


This paper provides a case study of Signal Detection Theory (SDT) as applied to a continuous monitoring dual-task environment. Specifically, SDT was used to evaluate the independent contributions of sensitivity and bias to different qualitative gauges used in process control. To assess detection performance in monitoring the gauges, we developed a Time Window-based Human-In-The-Loop (TWHITL) simulation bed. Through this test bed, we were able to generate a display similar to those monitored by console operators in oil and gas refinery plants. By using SDT and TWHITL, we evaluated the sensitivity, operator bias, and response time of flow, level, pressure, and temperature gauge shapes developed by Abnormal Situation Management® (ASM®) Consortium ( Our findings suggest that display density influences the effectiveness of participants in detecting abnormal shapes. Furthermore, results suggest that some shapes elicit better detection performance than others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)693-705
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2014


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)

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