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Integrated Performance Modelling Environment (IPME)

The Integrated Performance Modelling Environment (IPME) is a Linux- and Windows-based integrated environment of simulation and modeling tools for answering questions about systems that rely on human performance to succeed. IPME provides:

  • A realistic representation of humans in complex environments
  • Interoperability with other models and external simulations
  • Enhanced usability through a user friendly graphical user interface

IPME provides a full-featured discrete event simulation environment built on the Micro Saint Sharp simulation engine. Additionally, it provides added functionality to enhance the modeling of the human component of the system. Finally, it has a number of features that make it easier to integrate IPME models with other simulations on a real-time basis including TCP/IP sockets and tools for developing simulations that adhere to the Higher Level Architecture (HLA) simulation protocols that are becoming standard throughout the world.  These capabilities will help practicing professionals solve their problems by providing answers to questions involving human performance.

System Requirements

  • Mandrake Linux 10.X, RedHat Enterprise Linux, Windows XP, or Windows 2000
  • Minimum of 512MB of RAM
  • Minimum 750 Mhz processor
  • Suggested minimum 500MB swap space
  • 1.5GB free space on hard disk
  • Monitor and video card that support a minimum of 1024x768 resolution and 24-bit color
  • Java Runtime Environment (JRE) version 1.5 (included with the install)
  • For Windows: Microsoft .NET Runtime version 1.1 (included with the install)
  • For Linux: Mono .NET Runtime version 1.1.12.1

Features

Key Features of IPME

Environment Model

The analyst can model environmental factors or what behavioral scientists refer to as performance shaping factors.  These include environmental variables such as temperature, humidity, time of day, etc.

Operator Characteristics

Operator Traits, States, and Properties are simulated in the Crew Model. Traits are variables such as mental ability, susceptibility to motion sickness, time since trained, etc.  States are variables such as fatigue, hunger, etc.  Operator Properties describe physical properties such as hands and fingers.  The Operator State is dynamically updated during a simulation.  Therefore, each operator in the simulation can have unique characteristics.

Performance Shaping Functions

Performance Shaping Functions (PSFs) are user-defined functions which dynamically modify individual operator task "Time to Perform" and "Probability of Failure" values. 

PSFs define how performance shaping factors (environment variables or operator characteristics) affect operator performance.  PSFs are linked to individual tasks through a task taxonomy allowing one PSF function to be dynamically applied to any similar task in a model.  Since PSFs can use operator states as expression variables, simulations can be built that have two operators performing the same task type with different, and therefore more realistic, "Time to Perform" and "Probability of Failure" values.

POPIP Scheduler

The new POPIP scheduler, based on the Information Processing/Perceptual Control Theory (IP/PCT) and Prediction of Operator Performance (POP) schedulers, was developed jointly by the Centre for Human Sciences at QinetiQ and DRDC Toronto. This scheduler can be used to evaluate when operator task demands exceed capacity, and compare operator-loading versus task loading.

Measurement Suite

IPME's measurement suite allows the user to set up experimental runs using independent variables that can be set to different initial values for each experimental run.  Multiple experimental runs can be defined and multiple simulation runs (or iterations) can be specified for each experimental condition.   Any simulation variable not used in the independent variable list can be collected as dependent variables.

Simulation Engine

The IPME is based on the Micro Saint Sharp simulation engine, and offers the following features:

Discrete Event Monte Carlo Simulation Engine
A discrete event Monte Carlo simulation engine with an easy to use graphical user interface (GUI).  The GUI provides a drawing space where network diagrams defining man and machine tasks are constructed using visual components.  Network element sequence is defined by connecting model components with mouse point, click, and drag operations.

Built-in Micro Models of Human Behavior
Built-in micro models of human behavior can be related to the operator and the control and used to dynamically modify the time to perform a task based on operator position.  Micro models are functions that represent basic human actions.  IPME contains both static micro models (not relying on operator position) and dynamic micro models (relying on operator position).  Dynamic micro models, such as reaching rate, relate an operator in a work space or zone and a control on a work surface.  Times are calculated and used during the simulation based on operator to control distance and the size of the control.

Simplifies Modeling Task Failures
Task failure is represented as a "Probability of Failure" defining various actions that can result from a task failure such as no effect, repeating the failed task, having another task's time or failure probability modified, or even aborting the simulation as a result of a catastrophic failure.

Advanced Modeling Features
IPME allows hierarchical representation of tasks, a function library allowing user-defined functions, and an event catalog to allow dynamic events to trigger based on time or a condition within the simulation.  In sum, a full-featured discrete event simulation environment is built-in!

Live Links to Other Simulation Environments

IPME has a number of features that make it easier to integrate IPME models with other simulations on a real-time basis, including TCP/IP sockets and tools for developing simulations that adhere to the High Level Architecture (HLA) simulation protocols.

IPME Training

Five day IPME training seminars are offered periodically in Boulder, Colorado. Class size is limited to a maximum of six people.

Please contact us for more information regarding training dates.

The IPME Training Seminar provides:

Hands on modeling with IPME
POPIP examples and explanations
Integrated modeling environments
Plug-and-play modeling and much more

If you would like pricing information or to find out more about IPME training, please email us at MAAD_sales@alionscience.com or call us at 303-442-6947.

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