Stud.IP Uni Oldenburg
University of Oldenburg
30.09.2022 17:25:39
inf532 - Introduction to Cognitive Engineering (Complete module description)
Original version English PDF Download
Module label Introduction to Cognitive Engineering
Modulkürzel inf532
Credit points 6.0 KP
Workload 180 h
Institute directory Department of Computing Science
Verwendbarkeit des Moduls
  • Master's Programme Engineering of Socio-Technical Systems (Master) > Embedded Brain Computer Interaction
  • Master's Programme Engineering of Socio-Technical Systems (Master) > Human-Computer Interaction
Zuständige Personen
Boll-Westermann, Susanne (Module responsibility)
Lehrenden, Die im Modul (Prüfungsberechtigt)
Skills to be acquired in this module
Professional competences:
The students:
- Understanding of state of the art methods, techniques and tools (MTTs) to describe, model and evaluate human performance in safety-critical systems.
- Basic understanding of cognitive modelling and state of the art cognitive architectures
- Application of MTTs for use cases applications in Automotive, ATC, Maritime, Healthcare and Energy.
- Understanding of model-based user interface engineering, which derives human machine interface designs based on models.

Methodological competences:
The students:
  • Select and apply MTTs to predict human performance, in particular for:
  • task analysis, design and modeling
  • modelling and prediction human visual attention while monitoring complex systems,
  • task performance and workload prediction based on cognitive architectures.

Social competences:
The students: --

The students:
- Solve analysis, design and modelling tasks
- Model-based thinking
Module contents
The module aims at students from computer science, engineering, and psychology that are interested in getting and understanding into analyzing the impact of a human-machine interface to a human operator’s performance and well-being.

Computer programming skills are not required, but an interest in applying computer programs to model human behavior as part of the practical exercise is expected.

The module consists of a lecture and an exercise part:


The module introduces the field of cognitive engineering, which is an emerging branch of human factors and ergonomics and places particular emphasis on the structured analysis of cognitive processes required of operators in safety-critical applications. The lecture puts specific emphasis on models and processes for task analysis (i.e. ConcurTaskTrees), visual attention (i.e. SEEV), human performance (i.e. modern GOMS variants) and also introduce cognitive modelling based on cognitive architectures, which implement psychological and physiological plausible models to explain and predict human performance (i.e. ACT-R and CASCaS). Besides these approaches that are mostly targeted to systematically evaluate interactive systems, we also spend time on introducing “constructive” design methods (i.e. based on ecological interface design) to optimize human machine interfaces so that they can be efficiently used and perceived.

Based on the examples (e.g. managing incoming flights at air traffic control, driving a car in complex overtaking scenarios or performing time critical interventions with robots in an operation theater) that we introduce in the lecture to explain and discuss the theoretical models of e.g. human attention, or human performance prediction, we aim at modeling these examples in the exercises in our lab to end up with concrete human performance predictions.
Each lecture covers usually a specific chapter of one of the following books or articles:
- Model-Based Design and Evaluation of Interactive Applications (Fabio Paternò)
- Introduction to ACT-R (John R. Anderson, Christian Lebiere)
- Engineering Psychology and Human Performance (Chris Wickens, Justin Hollands)
- Ecological interface design: Progress and challenges. Human Factors (Kim Vicente)
- Cognitive Work Analysis: Toward Safe, Productive, and Healthy Computer-Based Work (Kim Vicente)
- The psychology of Human Computer Interaction (Card, Moran, Newell)
Language of instruction English
Duration (semesters) 1 Semester
Module frequency
Module capacity unlimited
Reference text
Associated with the module(s):
Application Area Automotive
Usability in Medicine
Modullevel / module level AC (Aufbaucurriculum / Composition)
Modulart / typ of module
Lehr-/Lernform / Teaching/Learning method V+Ü
Vorkenntnisse / Previous knowledge
Form of instruction Comment SWS Frequency Workload of compulsory attendance
Lecture 2 SoSe und WiSe 28
Exercises 2 SoSe und WiSe 28
Präsenzzeit Modul insgesamt 56 h
Examination Prüfungszeiten Type of examination
Final exam of module
At the end of the lecture period
oral exam