Inderscience Publishers

Ecological user interface for emergency management decision support systems

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The user interface for decision support systems is normally structured for presenting relevant data for the skilled user in order to allow fast assessment and action of the hazardous situation, or for more complex situations to present the relevant rules and procedures to be followed in order to deal most efficiently with the situation. For situations not foreseen, however, no rules exist, and no support may be given to the user by suggested actions to be fulfilled. The idea of ecological user interface is to present to the user the complete situation at various interrelated levels of abstraction supporting the situation assessment and remedial actions based on the domain knowledge of the user. The concept of ecological user interface has been tested and appreciated in a variety of other domains using prototypes designed to be representative of industrial processes. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the possibility of using the same principles for emergency management with the aim of improved performance in complex and unanticipated situations.

Keywords: emergency management, ecological interface design, EID, abstraction hierarchy

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