Human Factors

Master thesis under the Living Smart Campus program-vd Velde

Contact and supervison: prof dr. Frank van der Velde

This master research will be positioned under the Living Smart Campus program,

(Video: The general idea of this project is “how to use technology to enhance the quality of life on the campus?”. One type of campus activities that deserves our attention is collaboration, more specifically decision-making meetings. In this research, you’re required to observe and study collaborative decision-making (CDM) meetings, and several research topics can be explored as following:


How do human factors influence a CDM process?

The collaborative decision-making in a group is a complicated process, social dynamics of the group can have an important influence on the decision-making. Some important factors that worth looking into are emotions, facial expressions, speech properties, and gestures.


The master students are supposed to undertake a literature study first to determine which human factors are influential in decision-making, and use surveys or interviews if necessary to evaluate the influence of these factors.


How to detect and treat conflicts in collaborative decision-making?

One of the important research issues of CDM is the conflicts between participants. Conflicts arise for different reasons when making a decision, and they can usually be resolved by negotiation. It is important to look into the nature of conflicts in order to better resolve them.


The master students are supposed to define the theoretical nature of conflicts in negotiation from literature review, and an empirical study of conflicts in real negotiations (e.g. meetings of design projects) is necessary to define the conceptual structure of in a specific domain.


How to extract problem-solving methods from CDM?

CDM is a knowledge intensive process, it usually begins with a problem, and ends with a solution for that problem as a decision. How do people collaboratively solve problem is precious knowledge.


The master student should begin his or her research by a state of art on knowledge engineering and design rationale to establish the general methodology of knowledge extraction. Both qualitative and quantitative analysis on a CDM corpus (e.g. meetings of design projects) is required to extract problem-solving methods from it.