Manual Control with Pursuit Displays: New Insights, New Models, New Issues

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Mathematical control models are widely used in tuning manual control systems and understanding human performance. The most common model, the crossover model, is severely limited, however, in describing realistic human control behaviour in relevant control tasks as it is only valid for tracking with a compensatory display. This paper first discusses the state-of-the-art in modelling human control in tracking with pursuit displays. It is shown that, although both tasks seem very similar, the separate presentation of target and system output signals allows operators to adopt a huge variety in control strategies, which makes the development of a universal model for pursuit control a challenge. Two recent models are then described which can act as precursors to such a universal model. Third, system identification choices and issues are discussed for pursuit tracking tasks. Finally, it is argued that it is inevitable that time-varying rather than time-invariant methods are needed to properly describe human behaviour in the pursuit tracking task, as skilled operators will learn to characterize the probabilistic nature of the task, which cannot be captured in a single, linear, time-invariant model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-144
Number of pages6
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event14th IFAC Symposium on Analysis, Design, and Evaluation of Human Machine Systems, HMS 2019 - Tallinn, Estonia
Duration: 16 Sep 201919 Sep 2019


  • Cybernetics
  • human-machine interface
  • manual control
  • system identification


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