The Human Factors OSLC User Group

Project HoliDes received approval in the end of 2015 for the creation of a Human Factors OSLC User Group. The charter that was submitted defined the need for better human factor tools integration. Human Factors is of course not a new topic but its digital integration into the lifecycle is still quite immature compared to other domains. Often, human factors work is heavily text and paper based making use of questionnaires, surveys and studies. Of course, these documents can be digitised but simply having a digital copy of document does not demonstrate traceability with the architectural models they support which comes about with a mature integration.

The topic of Human Factors is vast and not all Human Factors tools which can be integrated are lifecycle based. This distinction is important, since OSLC is concerned with life cycle collaboration hence the name “Open services for lifecycle collaboration”. To illustrate the difference, a non-lifecycle tool is typically associated with a process performed at some point in the development of a system. A lifecycle tool or service provides information which is generally consumed at multiple points throughout the development.

For example, a set of requirements, test cases or a change requests can be used and referred to throughout the lifecycle. Non-lifecycle services and tools are generally used at a specific point in a project to do a specific job. For example an eye tracking sensor used during trials would not be considered lifecycle since the trial is conducted at a single phase in development. The same could be said of a simulation tool.

OSLC does not seek to harmonise integration of non-lifecycle tools since OSLC utilises linked data over a REST architecture and there are more suited standards for simulation and eye tracking. OSLC seeks to apply the principles that made the Internet so successful and apply them to lifecycle integration. It has done this with some success in many areas such as requirement management, change management, quality management and many more. These domains either have or are working towards a specification to describe the concepts for integration in their respective areas. Previously, there was nothing for human factors until the user group was created by the HoliDes project partners at the start of the year.

The OSLC approach lends itself to lifecycle collaboration since it is scalable and lightweight. Ultimately, you’re sharing services over REST using XML. The services include the creation, reading updating and deleting of resources. So long as a tool uses these same tried and tested internet protocols the resulting tool chain will be scalable, open and easy to implement.

The purpose of the Human Factors user group is not to develop a fully-fledged set of specifications, but to define a set of scenarios and concepts which could be used to drive a specification in the future after HoliDes. (Developing a fully-fledged set of specification documents requires membership and participation with the OASIS community and this is beyond the scope of HoliDes.)

Having an OSLC working group gives you a number of facilities become available including a wiki and a mailing list. It also gives you visibility on the main OSLC website:

The OSLC working group on Human Factors is open for everyone. We hope for further contributions from Human Factor experts and all other interested parties who could add some valuable input to developing human factor scenarios. Visit the wiki at and contribute what you think our integration scenarios should be.

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