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Situation awareness systems, states and processes: a holistic framework

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posted on 16.06.2015 by Jonas Lundberg

This paper argues that state, system, and process descriptions of situation awareness (SA) are interdependent. Based on SA research from the last 30 years, the paper proposes a holistic SA framework. SA states emerge from processes of exploring situations through SA systems. Reflecting research on safety II (resilience), in describing SA states, the framework distinguishes frames (what situations are considered) from implications (regarding the situations) of objects on and of an event horizon. The paper describes and discusses SA system and process dependencies on SA states. It also describes SA system components as mediators and catalysts for SA, SA system properties (e.g. buffering SA), and dynamic SA system formation. Based on an analysis of four enactments of Air Traffic Control situations, the paper argues that what is domain-characteristic may not characterise all situations in a domain. The SA field could thus benefit from incrementally refining a nuanced cross-domain framework.