The objective of this article is to discuss the usability and suitability of having graphical visualization tools for decision support in Space monitoring systems. Operators dealing with specific Space missions are burdened with continuous real-time telemetry data about components’ behavior and they have to take quick actions when some malfunction occurs. To have a decision support tool for monitoring what is happening is essential for ensuring the mission success. In this work, for discussing interface usability concerns for decision support, we use a real case study, called MODI-Monitoring and Diagnosis for Mars Driller project (MODI, 2006), which was financed by the European Space Agency (ESA). The MODI objectives were the development of a fuzzy alarm fault detection system as well as a fuzzy terrain-hardness detection system, for the drill device included in the ExoMars rover (ExoMars, 2007). Although a number of positive results have been achieved using different knowledge-based technologies for monitoring, diagnosis and control, for instance inference systems, expert systems, data mining, fuzzy logic, and so forth (Isermann, 1998; Ross, 2004), only recently attention on the usability and suitability of graphical visualization interfaces, acting as a decision support tool, is starting to be considered a relevant issue in software applications (Nunes, in press).
Key Terms in this Chapter
Fuzzy Knowledge Based Systems (FKBS): FKBSs are a typical rule-based inference system for providing expertise over a domain, which is capable of drawing conclusions from given uncertain evidence.
Fuzzy Sets: Fuzzy sets are a set theory approach in which set membership is less precise than having objects strictly in or out of the set.
Linguistic Variables: Linguistic variables are mathematical representations of semantic concepts, which include more than one term (fuzzy set).
Ergonomic Interfaces: Ergonomic interfaces are quality principles based in a human-centered approach, which apply to the design of dialogues between humans and information systems.
Interfaces Usability: Interfaces usability is the quality of an interface regarding the user-friendliness of usage and learning.
Monitoring Systems: Monitoring systems are fault detection systems that provide alarms in case of components malfunctions.
Fuzzy Logic: Fuzzy logic is multi-valued logic for reasoning that can cope with uncertain or partial information; characteristic of human thinking and inference/expert systems.