Computer-Supported Monitoring of Command Post Communication in Taskforce Operations - A Cognitive Systems Approach


Mirko Thorstensson,Markus Axelsson,Magnus Morin,Johan Jenvald


The performance of a command-post staff has a decisive effect on the outcome of an operation when it comes to co-ordination and management of various units of a taskforce. Monitoring and documentation of the internal work and communication processes that take place in a command team can increase the ability to investigate and understand cause-effect relationships between incoming field reports, operational procedures, decisions, commands and the activities in the field. To this end we present a cognitive systems engineering approach to the command and control problem, where the work of the command-post staff must be analysed in the context of the overall taskforce mission. In this paper we describe a method and a software tool that enable an observer to monitor and record communication events in a command post staff. The method extends link analysis by introducing time stamping and classification of events. Thus, extended link analysis (ELA) enables both cumulative measures and detailed temporal analysis of staff communication. The software tool supports configuration, monitoring, time stamping and classification of communication events. Extending a computer-based instrumentation system, such as the MIND system, with ELA facilitates the cognitive systems engineering approach and improve understanding of internal processes in the command-post staff.