Examining the Impact of Increasing Location-Based Information Fidelity on Command Center Decision-Making
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The deployment of high-fidelity information systems in command and control environments is common, however it is not yet well understood what impacts these systems have on decision-making processes, or whether the implementation of these systems is always a positive change. Research in military domains has suggested that these types of systems can create substantial increases in micromanagement, but these changes have not been empirically investigated. In this thesis, the effect of high-fidelity information on command environments is experimentally evaluated. A baseline set of data is collected within a real-world command center that uses only low-fidelity information. Then, a laboratory-based controlled technology experiment is used to gather information about how the command processes change as information fidelity is increased. Finally, the same system is implemented within the functioning command center and a preliminary comparison is carried out against the original baseline data. The experimental study suggests that an increase in micromanagement may occur with an increase in information fidelity, while increases in situation awareness and performance improvements during times of both extremely low and high workload are seen. The preliminary ecological validation study shows support for these effects.