Impact of human operators on communication network dependability

Leena Norros, Ilkka Norros, Marja Liinasuo, Kari Seppänen

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review


    Motivation - To shed light on the context and content of the human operators' work in maintaining the dependability of telecommunication networks. Research approach - A case study was accomplished in a large telecommunication company. The research focused on clarifying the impact of human operators on the dependability of telecommunication network. 20 professionals were interviewed related to their conceptions of the possible generic role of human error to network dependability, and to the human-centric requirements of network control. Findings/Design - Interviews confirmed the existence of the assumption among members of the Communication Network Operations (CNO) community that the human operator has an important impact on the network dependability. Specific sources of errors in daily work were identified and strategies of avoiding erroneous action were described. Moreover we defined generic control demands of the CNO work domain, and operators' ways of coping with these demands. Focusing on these demands would provide proactive practices to increase dependability. Research limitations/Implications - The study was restricted to one Finnish telecommunication company. This limits possible empirical generalisation of the findings. Originality/Value - There is a scarcity of scientific literature about the characteristics of the control work and its demands in this critical domain. Take away message - Regarding human dependability of communication network operations, a combination of resilient and proactive ways of acting is needed. Due to daily changes in the network and the continuous increase of its complexity, specifically change management on both organisational and work practice levels is required
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 29th Annual European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics
    Place of PublicationRostock
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery ACM
    ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-1029-1
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
    EventEuropean Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics - Rostock, Germany
    Duration: 24 Aug 201126 Aug 2011
    Conference number: 29


    ConferenceEuropean Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics
    Abbreviated titleECCE '11


    • Human dependability
    • communication network operation
    • work demands
    • human error


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