Date of Award

Summer 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Engineering Management & Systems Engineering

Committee Director

Andres A. Sousa-Poza

Committee Member

Patrick Hester

Committee Member

Steve Cotter

Committee Member

Van E. Brewer


Two people in the same situation may ascribe very different meanings to their experiences. They will form different awareness, reacting differently to shared information. Various factors can give rise to this behavior. These factors include, but are not limited to, prior knowledge, training, biases, cultural factors, social factors, team vs. individual context, time, resources, and technology. At the individual level, the differences in attaining separate actions by accessing shared information may not be considered as an anomaly from the perspective of rational decision-making. But for group behavior, reacting differently to the shared information can give rise to conflicts and deviations from an expected behavior, and are categorized as an anomaly or irrational behavior. The lack of proper recognition of the reasons for differences can even impede the shared action towards attaining a common objective. The manifestation of differences becomes noticeable in complex situations.

The shared awareness approaches that originate from available situational awareness models fail to recognize the reasons of an unexpected decision in these situations. One reason for this is that in complex situations, incompatible events can become dominant. Human information processing is sensitive to the compatibility of the events. This, and various other human psychological characteristics, require models to be developed that include comprehensive formalisms for both compatible and incompatible events in complex situations.

Quantum probability provides a geometrical probabilistic formalism to study the decision and the dynamic cognitive systems in complex situations. The event representation in Hilbert space provides the necessary foundation to represent an individual's knowledge of a situation. Hilbert space allows representing awareness as a superposition of indefinite states. These states form a complete N-dimensional Hilbert space. Within the space generated, events are represented as a subspace.

By using these characteristics of Hilbert space and quantum geometrical probabilities, this study introduces a representation of self and other-than-self in a situation. An area of awareness with the possibility of projection onto the same event allows representing shared awareness geometrically. This formalism provides a coherent explanation of shared awareness for both compatible and incompatible events. Also, by using the superposition principles, the dissertation introduces spooky action at a distance concept in studying shared awareness.