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Abandon d'un plan hiérarchique dans une activité de conception

Willemien Visser 1 
1 PSYCHO ERGO - Ergonomic Psychology
Inria Paris-Rocquencourt
Abstract : An observational study has been conducted on the design of a machine tool installation. This study is different from preceding empirical research, especially on the following points: * We did real time observations on designers during their actual work activity. * We have been studying several stages of the design process of a real complex project involving three different operators. The results presented focus on the possible hierarchical nature of the design activity. 1. Each operator describes his activity as a hierarchical plan. He decomposes his activity in components at different levels, which are to be treated in a fixed order. The operator's real activity however, which is rather opportunistic, departs from this plan. The plan's hierarchy is given up: (a) components are abandoned before completion; (b) addenda and modifications are made on past and future components. The modifications go from error correction to challenging design decisions. These processing characteristics are in agreement with the results obtained in previous laboratory studies conducted on simplified design projects. They are however also more general: they apply not only to each operator's activity in his design stage, but also to the entire design process. So, specifications established in previous stages, for example, are completed and challenged by the operators observed. 2. We analysed the factors leading to these deviations from a hierarchical plan. The principal psychological processes among them are presented. They are processes well known to be used in other contexts of problem solving or diagnosis. So, on the one hand, these results permit to specify to which degree the design activity is similar to or different from these other activities. On the other hand, knowledge about these processes and their associated triggering conditions, provides us with precious information for the modeling of the design activity. Illustrations of the results are presented.
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Submitted on : Monday, November 21, 2011 - 5:51:44 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, February 3, 2022 - 11:17:00 AM
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  • HAL Id : hal-00641048, version 1



Willemien Visser. Abandon d'un plan hiérarchique dans une activité de conception. Colloque scientifique MARI 87 Machines et Réseaux Intelligents - COGNITIVA 87, Centre d'études des systèmes et des technologies avancées (CESTA), 1987, Paris, France. pp.366-371. ⟨hal-00641048⟩



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