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Influencing versus Informing Design, Part 2: Macrocognitive Modeling
November/December 2008 (vol. 23 no. 6)
pp. 86-c3
Robert R. Hoffman, Institute for Human and Machine Cognition
Cognitive-systems engineers study the cognitive work conducted in sociotechnical contexts and, from that understanding, provide guidance to software engineers. The previous essay in this department discussed how there can be a gap—the guidance from cognitive-systems engineers can inform design, but what software engineers actually need are designs. The gap has been successfully crossed in one direction, in projects in which cognitive-systems engineers expressed the requirements in a way that captured key functionalities and their rationale, thereby speaking to the software engineer's needs. This essay works in the other direction: providing systems engineers with an easy-to-use method—the Macrocognitive Modeling Procedure—that might enable them to ramp up their understanding of the cognitive work. The procedure involves creating and then validating models of domain practitioners' reasoning. The method is easy to use and can enable software engineers to ramp up their understanding of end users' cognitive work.

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Index Terms:
macrocognitive models, expert reasoning, work analysis, cognitive-systems engineering, weather forecasting
Citation:
Robert R. Hoffman, "Influencing versus Informing Design, Part 2: Macrocognitive Modeling," IEEE Intelligent Systems, vol. 23, no. 6, pp. 86-c3, Nov.-Dec. 2008, doi:10.1109/MIS.2008.105
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