While I’m on the subject of visualising risk the Understanding Uncertainty site run by the University of Cambridge’s Winton Group gives some good examples of how visualisation techniques can present risk.
Archives For Uncertainty
I’ve recently been reading John Downer on what he terms the Myth of Mechanical Objectivity. To summarise John’s argument he points out that once the risk of an extreme event has been ‘formally’ assessed as being so low as to be acceptable it becomes very hard for society and it’s institutions to justify preparing for it (Downer 2011).
Did the designers of the japanese seawalls consider all the factors?
In an eerie parallel with the Blayais nuclear power plant flooding incident it appears that the designers of tsunami protection for the Japanese coastal cities and infrastructure hit by the 2011 earthquake did not consider all the combinations of environmental factors that go to set the height of a tsunami.
Out of the loop, aircrew and unreliable airspeed at high altitude
The BEA’s third interim report on AF 447 highlights the vulnerability of aircrew when their usually reliable automation fails in the challenging operational environment of high altitude flight.
This post is part of the Airbus aircraft family and system safety thread.
Why more information does not automatically reduce risk
I recently re-read the article Risks and Riddles by Gregory Treverton on the difference between a puzzle and a mystery. Treverton’s thesis, taken up by Malcom Gladwell in Open Secrets, is that there is a significant difference between puzzles, in which the answer hinges on a known missing piece, and mysteries in which the answer is contingent upon information that may be ambiguous or even in conflict. Continue Reading…
In a previous post I discussed that in HOT systems the operator will inherently be asked to intervene in situations that are unplanned for by the designer. As such situations are inherently not ‘handled’ by the system this has strong implications for the design of the human machine interface.Continue Reading...