Advanced system engineering approaches to dynamic modelling of human factors and system safety in sociotechnical systems

Zarei, Esmaeil (2023) Advanced system engineering approaches to dynamic modelling of human factors and system safety in sociotechnical systems. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Sociotechnical systems (STSs) indicate complex operational processes composed of interactive and dependent social elements, organizational and human activities. This research work seeks to fill some important knowledge gaps in system safety performance and human factors analysis using in STSs. First, an in-depth critical analysis is conducted to explore state-of-the-art findings, needs, gaps, key challenges, and research opportunities in human reliability and factors analysis (HR&FA). Accordingly, a risk model is developed to capture the dynamic nature of different systems failures and integrated them into system safety barriers under uncertainty as per Safety-I paradigm. This is followed by proposing a novel dynamic human-factor risk model tailored for assessing system safety in STSs based on Safety-II concepts. This work is extended to further explore system safety using Performance Shaping Factors (PSFs) by proposing a systematic approach to identify PSFs and quantify their importance level and influence on the performance of sociotechnical systems’ functions. Finally, a systematic review is conducted to provide a holistic profile of HR&FA in complex STSs with a deep focus on revealing the contribution of artificial intelligence and expert systems over HR&FA in complex systems. The findings reveal that proposed models can effectively address critical challenges associated with system safety and human factors quantification. It also trues about uncertainty characterization using the proposed models. Furthermore, the proposed advanced probabilistic model can better model evolving dependencies among system safety performance factors. It revealed the critical safety investment factors among different sociotechnical elements and contributing factors. This helps to effectively allocate safety countermeasures to improve resilience and system safety performance. This research work would help better understand, analyze, and improve the system safety and human factors performance in complex sociotechnical systems.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
Item ID: 16023
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references
Keywords: system safety, human factors, risk anlaysis, human reliability, sociotechnical systems, system engineering
Department(s): Engineering and Applied Science, Faculty of
Date: October 2023
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Sociotechnical systems--Risk assessment; System safety; Systems engineering; Human engineering

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