A Case Resource for Cognitive Task Analysis

Period of Performance: 03/31/1999 - 10/31/1999


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Aptima, Inc.
12 Gill Street Array
Woburn, MA 01801
Principal Investigator


Detailed cognitive task analysis (CTA) is an invaluable tool for system design, but it is extremely resource intensive and often the results are not transferable to other design projects. There are virtually no commercial tools to support CTA, and no methods or repositories for disseminating the results. We propose to develop a convenient computer-based resource for amassing, storing, and retrieving results and methods from CTA and other task analyses using a fresh, innovative, practical approach focused on user needs. Versatility and expandability are key features of the approach. We are not committed to any one approach to task analysis, but plan to create a flexible tool. Our schema for storing and retrieving information will be driven by the needs of the users (project managers, system designers, and CTA specialists). Extensive user interviews are a key feature of Phase I. We propose to use Latent Semantic Indexing as a powerful, practical, cost-effective means for storing and retrieving information. The case resource tool will be expandable, serving a community of users who contribute to its growth. Our interdisciplinary project team combines real world experience in applying a variety of task analysis techniques with state-of-the-art expertise in database indexing and retrieval technology.