Category Archives: Mission Critical Systems

Recording Human-Machine-Interaction: API-Recording vs ATG-Recording

The purpose of recording human-machine-interaction is that we can identify and fix causes of past problems so that these causes cannot happen anymore. These causes may either be on the human side or on the machine-side or in the combination of both.

In mission-critical systems you cannot afford to repeat (near-)accidents and (near-)disasters. Therefore you need to identify causes of such problems reliably the first time they happen. For that it is essential to use sufficient recording and logging that allows you to correctly reproduce all information required for such an analysis. Due to the importance of this, it is crucial to do this recording and logging correctly.

Recording human-machine-interaction is an essential component of a complete logging solution. Therefore it is important to do this correctly, too.

There are several methods for HMI-recording. (HMI is short for human-machine interaction.)

In this article I’ll pick two of them: API-recording and ATG-recording. These methods are both used in practice for recording human-computer-interaction. I’ll highlight the advantages and disadvantages of both methods, and provide a conclusion that may be surprising.

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How to Prevent Disasters in Mission Critical Systems

The definition of a mission critical system is that a failure can have disastrous consequences, including death, destruction, bankrupting entire big companies, economic crisis, …

Examples for such mission critical systems are:

  • Air traffic control,
  • Industrial processes, e.g. in chemical industry,
  • Atomic power plants,
  • Railway interlocking systems,
  • Maritime control,
  • Big stock traders.

Of course, such systems are usually designed in a redundant way, such that one mistake should not cause a failure of the whole system.

One of the most critical components of such a system is human machine interaction.

Why is this component so critical?

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