Arbitrierung von kooperativer Bewegung in hochautomatisierten Mensch-Maschine-Systemen

  Woman pulling man across market while holding hands Copyright: © IAW

Key Info

Basic Information

01.01.2015 to 31.12.2019
Research Area:
Cooperative Human-Machine Systems



Frank Flemisch

Head of Research Department of balanced Human Systems Integration


+49 241 80 99435




How are a couple holding hands at the Aachen Christmas market and a person‘s struggle with a vehicle automation system and a person pulling a USB stick out of a computer linked to each other? In all three cases it is about a negotiation (arbitration) between two parties with the goal of a (hopefully) joint action, e.g. a movement. In the DFG project "Arbitrierung kooperativer Bewegung” (Arbitration of Cooperative Motion), we investigated these negotiation processes by transferring (observable) patterns in the natural world to human-machine systems and building and investigating them in a simulation.



Mobility is an important ability of many living beings, especially humans. This ability not only includes a physical part, but it also has a mental component, especially when living beings move competitively and/or cooperatively, e.g. in hunting. The unification of different movement intentions by means of matching or arbitration is an essential building block for cooperative movement.

In the field of cooperative motion control between man and machine, e.g. between pilot and flight automation, the interaction between automation and human in the case of different motion intentions are interrelated and prone to errors. A number of flight and driving accidents have already occurred due to insufficient "negotiation" between humans and machines. A transfer of the automation idea to other domains such as the guidance of motor vehicles or cooperative robots is only promising if the lessons learned from past accidents are taken into account through targeted research.



  Arbitration Intention Human Automation, Description s. Challenges Copyright: © IAW Model approach for unifying motion intentions of humans and automation, applied to cooperative motion control in motor vehicle or air traffic  

In previous DFG projects (e.g. "H-Mode" and "Conduct-by-Wire"), the development of a catalog depicting cooperativity in motion based on numerous exemplary phenomena was investigated in cooperation with university partners. In the project "Arbitration of Cooperative Motion in Highly Automated Human-Machine Systems", we initially focused on a systematic development and generalization of these phenomena as cooperative motion guidance for all forms of motion.
For movement to take place cooperatively, there must be sufficient capability for movement, a sufficiently high level of external compatibility, e.g., via the human-machine interface, and also a sufficiently high level of internal compatibility, e.g., via common goals and model conceptions. Other important phenomena of the dynamics of cooperation are transitions in the degree of assistance and automation, a good balance of stability and adaptability, and as addressed in the project, the question of arbitration assuming different conceptions. A different opinion and the associated potential for conflict is the price to pay for having intelligent partners. The involvement of humans in such cooperative arbitration processes via clear, robust and cross-domain arbitration patterns was a major goal of this project.


Based on field explorations and research, a prototypical use case catalog was built, which is oriented towards already existing systems. As a basis for arbitration in human-machine systems, implicit haptic negotiations between couples at the Aachen Christmas market were observed in a field study and initial patterns were derived.

By systematically structuring the design space for arbitration, the second prerequisite for the design of arbitration patterns was created.

To evaluate these patterns in the 1D arbitration space, a USB arbitration demonstrator was implemented. It was used to simulate a negotiation between a human and a PC while pulling out a USB stick and utilized haptic, acoustic and visual interaction channels. Based on this, in a further experiment an arbitration-enabled automation software as well as an interaction mediation software were developed to evaluate 2D arbitration in the field of cooperative vehicle guidance. In this second experiment, participants arbitrated on maneuver as well as control distribution in a partially automated vehicle. In expert meetings and workshops, the progress of the project was presented and discussed iterative.



  Resources, OY chart, interaction channels (see caption) Copyright: © IAW Structuring the design space for interaction (left, modified after Wickens et al. 2008, see also Flemisch et al. 2014 and 2020) and for interaction design (right, modified after Löper et al. 2008)  

The most important findings from the project are the developed arbitration patterns as well as the further development of methods for the creation and documentation of interaction and cooperation patterns. The software modules developed have also been incorporated into the construction of a demonstrator for cooperative vehicle guidance as a basis for further projects. The study results on experiments with 1D and 2D demonstrators show a higher acceptance compared to conventional non-arbitrary systems. Through publications and two expert workshops, the project results have been shared and discussed with the professional community.



The project was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.

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