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Advances in Human-Computer Interaction
Volume 2009, Article ID 642929, 10 pages
Research Article

Human Behaviour Analysis of Barrier Deviations Using a Benefit-Cost-Deficit Model

1Université Lille Nord de France, F-59000 Lille, France
2UVHC, Laboratoire d'Automatique et Mécanique et d'Informatique industrielles et Humaines (LAMIH), F-59313 Valenciennes, France
3CNRS, UMR 8530, F-59313 Valenciennes, France

Received 11 February 2009; Accepted 25 August 2009

Academic Editor: Mark Dunlop

Copyright © 2009 Philippe Polet et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A Benefit-Cost-Deficit (BCD) model is proposed for analyzing such intentional human errors as barrier removal, the deliberate nonrespect of the rules and instructions governing use of a given system. The proposed BCD model attempts to explain and predict barrier removal in terms of the benefits, costs, and potential deficits associated with this human behaviour. The results of an experimental study conducted on a railway simulator (TRANSPAL) are used to illustrate the advantages of the BCD model. In this study, human operators were faced with barriers that they could choose to deactivate, or not. Their decisions were analyzed in an attempt to explain and predict their choices. The analysis highlights that operators make their decisions using a balance between several criteria. Though barriers are safety-related elements, the decision to remove them is not guided only by the safety criterion; it is also motivated by such criteria as productivity, workload, and quality. Results of prediction supported by the BCD demonstrate the predictability of barrier violation