Toward a General Model of Supervisory Control

  • Thomas B. Sheridan
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 1)


The supervisory control paradigm applies to situations where a person allocates his attention among various graphical or alphanumeric displays and intermittently communicates new programs to a computer which itself is in continuous direct control of a physical process. It applies, for example, to piloting or ground control of modern aircraft, to supervision of nuclear power plants and large chemical plants, to monitoring and reprogramming of industrial robots (see preview paper on models in this volume). Figure 1 illustrates the supervisory paradigm. The functions of each of the five elements are listed in the figure below the corresponding box.


Human Operator Sensory Measure Supervisory Control Modern Aircraft Absolute Judgement Task 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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    Sheridan, T.B. and Ferrell, W.R., Man-Machine Systems, M.I.T. Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1974.Google Scholar
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    Kaiman, R.E., “A New Approach to Linear Filtering and Prediction Problems”, JOURNAL OF BASIC ENGINEERING, Trans. ASME, Vol. 82D, 1960, pp. 33–45.Google Scholar
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    Hardin, P.A., Whitney, D.E. and Sheridan, T.B., “And Tree” Computer Data Structures for Supervisory Control of Manipulation: Proc. 1972 IEEE Intl. Conf. on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, October 9–12, 1972, Washington, D.C., 72-CHO-6478-SMC.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas B. Sheridan
    • 1
  1. 1.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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