Using Temporal Representations for Understanding Complex Interrelationships for Mission Planning

Danczyk, J., Kane, S., Housten, D., Voshell, M., Kilgore, R., and Hogan, C.



Presented at the 7th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (AHFE 2016), Orlando, FL (July 2016)

The ability to analyze, recognize, and plan for operational events – i.e., patterns of change over time—is a critical component of effective situation assessment within the military. Military planners use time when faced with creating, comparing, and deciding on complex planning and re-planning decisions. One way to intuitively convey changes in time based information to planners is with the use of temporal representations, particularly timeline visualizations. Timeline visualizations have been a very popular method in the past because of their ability to provide a clear representation of the causes and effects that occur throughout mission increments which supports planners with re-planning for new events. In this paper, we discuss our unique design concept with using multiple timeline visualizations as a way to support military planners with understanding the complex interrelationships that occur when predicting the timing and availability of mission resources as well as analyzing the effects to unforeseen events. We also discuss future design directions that will incorporate user feedback to improve the system’s usability and better visualize these interrelationships between planned actions.

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