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Human Behaviour in Cyber-Physical Systems

In a complex systems environment the interaction between users or operators and the system is often critical to its safe and secure operation. Poor design of user interfaces can result in serious incidents, where human behaviour or lack of comprehension of the situation can increase the severity of the hazard.

Human-computer interaction (HCI) is concerned with designing interactions between human activities and the cyber-physical systems that support them, and with constructing interfaces to afford those interactions. Interaction between users and systems occurs at an interface that includes both software and hardware, which range for simple indicators and audible alarms to complex screen-based visualisations. Human behaviour should influence interface design and implementation of core functionality. For end-users, the interface is the system. So design in this domain must be interaction-focused and human-centred. It is imperative that during the design phase of the interface that human behaviour with regard to cyber safety and security is addressed, including the potential impact of social engineering.