Display of Information for Time-Critical Decision Making

Eric Horvitz

Decision Theory Group
Microsoft Research
Redmond, Washington 98052-6399

Matthew Barry

Propulsion Systems
Mission Control Center
NASA Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas

Author Email: horvitz@microsoft.com

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We describe methods for managing the complexity of information displayed to people responsible for making high-stakes, time-critical decisions. The techniques provide tools for real-time control of the configuration and quantity of information displayed to a user, and a methodology for designing flexible human-computer interfaces for monitoring applications. After defining a prototypical set of display decision problems, we introduce the expected value of revealed information (EVRI) and the related measure of expected value of displayed information (EVDI). We describe how these measures can be used to enhance computer displays used for monitoring complex systems. We motivate the presentation by discussing our efforts to employ decision-theoretic control of displays for a time-critical monitoring application at the NASA Mission Control Center in Houston.

Keywords: Human-computer interface, time-critical reasoning, decision-theoretic inference, display management, Bayesian methods, user modeling.

In: Proceedings of Eleventh Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence, Montreal, August 1995, pages 296-305. Morgan Kaufmann: San Francisco.

Author Email: horvitz@microsoft.com