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Communications-based automated assessment of team cognitive performance

Lakkaraju, Kiran; Adams, Susan S.; Abbott, Robert G.; Forsythe, James C.

In this paper we performed analysis of speech communications in order to determine if we can differentiate between expert and novice teams based on communication patterns. Two pairs of experts and novices performed numerous test sessions on the E-2 Enhanced Deployable Readiness Trainer (EDRT) which is a medium-fidelity simulator of the Naval Flight Officer (NFO) stations positioned at bank end of the E-2 Hawkeye. Results indicate that experts and novices can be differentiated based on communication patterns. First, experts and novices differ significantly with regard to the frequency of utterances, with both expert teams making many fewer radio calls than both novice teams. Next, the semantic content of utterances was considered. Using both manual and automated speech-to-text conversion, the resulting text documents were compared. For 7 of 8 subjects, the two most similar subjects (using cosine-similarity of term vectors) were in the same category of expertise (novice/expert). This means that the semantic content of utterances by experts was more similar to other experts, than novices, and vice versa. Finally, using machine learning techniques we constructed a classifier that, given as input the text of the speech of a subject, could identify whether the individual was an expert or novice with a very low error rate. By looking at the parameters of the machine learning algorithm we were also able to identify terms that are strongly associated with novices and experts. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.