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An initial cognitive model of a radar detection task

Dr. Alexander Hough
Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio ~ Cognition and Modeling Branch
Christopher Adam Stevens
Air Force Research Laboratory
Dr. Elizabeth Fox
Air Force Research Laboratory ~ 711th Human Performance Wing
Dr. Chris Myers
Air Force Research Laboratory ~ Cognitive Science, Models, & Agents

In adversarial operational environments like radar monitoring, humans have to monitor large amounts of information, multitask, and manage threats. They may also face electronic disruption or attacks aimed at degrading radar monitor effectiveness (a.k.a electronic warfare or EW). In these settings, it is unclear how frequent changes in personnel, training, and updates to visual displays affect an operator's readiness. A recent experiment used an analogous radar monitoring task to investigate effects of display density and electronic warfare on an operator's threat detection performance. Here, we present a cognitive model capable of completing a scaled down version of that task to better understand the experimental results and underlying cognitive processes. Similar to the human experiment, our cognitive model completed conditions comprised of changes to the nature of the task(s), the number of targets to track, and the presence or absence of distractors, deemed 'friendlies'. Although this initial cognitive model uses primarily default ACT-R parameters, it was able to capture patterns in human performance across conditions. We present the results and discuss limitations to address in future work.



Cognitive model
Multiple object tracking
Radar monitoring

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Cite this as:

Hough, A. R., Stevens, C., Fox, E. L., & Myers, C. (2023, July). An initial cognitive model of a radar detection task. Paper presented at MathPsych/ICCM/EMPG 2023. Via