This paper aims to report a study into the levels of abstraction hierarchy (LOAH) in two energy distribution teams. The original proposition for the LOAH was that it depicted five levels of system representation, working from functional purpose through to physical form to determine causes of a malfunction, or from physical form to functional purpose to determine the purpose of system function. The LOAH has been widely used throughout human supervisory control research to explain individual behaviour. The research seeks to focus on the application the LOAH to human supervisory control teams in semi‐automated “intelligent” systems.
A series of interviews were conducted in two energy distribution companies.
The results of the study suggest that people in the teams are predominantly operating at different levels of system representation, depending on their role. Managerial personnel work at functional purpose and abstract function levels, whereas operational personnel work at physical function and physical form levels. It is argued that both types of personnel are part of the wider distributed problem‐solving system, which includes both people and technology.
The research provides useful information on the application of the LOAH to human supervisory control teams in semi‐automated “intelligent” systems.
Stanton, N., Ashleigh, M., Roberts, A. and Xu, F. (2006), "Levels of abstraction in human supervisory control teams", Journal of Enterprise Information Management, Vol. 19 No. 6, pp. 679-694. https://doi.org/10.1108/17410390610708535Download as .RIS
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