Abstract: This research stems from the MOSAIC project, a part of the valorization and knowledge transfer effort of
the Interactive Collaborative Information Systems (ICIS) research programme (http://www.icis.decis.nl/),
supported by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, grant no.: BSIK03024. ICIS is hosted by the D-CIS
Lab (http://www.decis.nl/), the open research partnership of Thales Nederland, the Delft University of
Technology, the University of Amsterdam and the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific
Abstract: The MOSAIC project aims at enhanced situation awareness and reduced information overload to public safety officers (police, fire brigade, medical transport) in a complex safety incident.
In this first MOSAIC indicative experiment, a realistic safety incident, a ship collision with many persons and poisonous gas involved, was simulated by messages on this incident. These messages correspond to usual messages sent to the local police commander at the location of incident.
In the experiment, the original message set (Set-0) was reduced in consecutive ways.
In Set-1 messages on victims and events related to the safety incident were combined.
In Set-3 only information pertaining to operational police tasks remained (all information on the informative police task was removed).
The normal operational background task of the Control and Command Room (CCR) was simulated by a computer game.
The effects of the information reduction on situation awareness and information overload were measured by a questionnaire with questions on the situation, an open evaluation, and background task performance.
Eighteen police officers participated in the experiment. The results showed that removal of messages containing information that was sent before reduces the information overload that is experienced. Aggregating numbers of victims and certain types of events is a most effective way to decrease the number of messages while improving situation awareness. Aggregating geographical data by plotting was, unexpectedly not effective; training beforehand might have improved this.
To conclude, reduction of the number of messages proved to be effective in improving information processing of police officers.