Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of the 2017 Industrial and Systems Engineering Conference



Conference Name

2017 Industrial and Systems Engineering Conference, May 20-23, 2017, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


The commercial transport aircraft of today vary greatly from early aircraft in regards to how they are controlled and the feedback provided from the machine to the human operator. Automation has improved operational precision and efficiency but at the cost of providing less feedback. Pilots are the last line of defense and current technology cannot provide the human ability to solve novel problems for which no computer logic can be written. The automated cockpits of today have may sub-components that interact in a manner often opaque and unpredictable when a sensor or sub-component fails or even in situations where no failure occurs but an unexpected result comes from the normal interaction of system components. This system complexity means the most rigorous pre-deployment testing may not predict an undesirable outcome when system parts interact as designed. Different stakeholders in the design and operations process have different and sometimes competing objectives. The components of the commercial aviation system and their numerous interactions means that examining each component individually is difficult. Evaluating all the hard and soft elements requires a systems analysis approach to provide the best outcome when working with human-automation co-existing systems.


© 2017 by Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers.

Included with the kind written permission of the copyright holders.


0000-0002-2359-5209 (Taylor), 0000-0001-9452-9105 (Keating)

Original Publication Citation

Taylor, A. K., Keating, C. B., & Cotter, T. S. (2017). Cockpit in the systems engineering lenses [Conference Paper]. 2017 Industrial and Systems Engineering Conference, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.