人-机-环境系统工程 (MMESE)

Important Literature

OVERVIEW OF MAN-MACHINE-ENVIRONMENT

 

 

 

OVERVIEW OF MAN-MACHINE-ENVIRONMENT SYSTEM ENGINEERING

Long Shengzhao,  Institute of Space Medico-Engineering, Beijing, China

 

Abstract  In 1981, under directing  of famous Scientist Qian Xuesheng , Man-Machine-Environment System Engineering (MMESE) is founded in China. MMESE is a science which deals correctly with the relationship between man, machine and environment, and studies deeply the optimum combination of man-machine-environment system. This paper roundly expatiates basic frame of theory and application of MMESE. It includes mainly four aspects: formation and development of MMESE, research contents of MMESE, implement methods of MMESE and application prospect analysis of MMESE.
 
Key Words Man, Machine, Environment, Man-Machine-Environment system, System engineering, System science

 

INTRODUCTION

All history of human society development is namely a history of each other relevancy, each other restrict and each other promotion of the man, the machine (including the tool, Machinery, Computer, system and technology) and the environment. Because the effect of the environment, super primates animal changes into the human (man). Human naissance results in appearance of the machine. Machine’s appearance brings on new environment (see Figure. 1).

Up to now when the man are enjoying society flourish which is resulted in by high science and technology, the man crashes unknowingly into two mistake region:


1. Because disregarding man’s character and requirements, designing machine results in system      performance reduction and  accident increase. It  the machine and environment
makes fatal influence on society development;   

  
2. Because disregarding environment character and requirements, designing machine not only effects exertion of machine’s performance, but also brings on fatal environment’s pollution. It effects badly on human life, work and subsistence.

Therefore now urgent affair is to sets up a science approach of optimum combination of the man, the machine and the environment. Formation of MMESE satisfies even this need.


1 FORMATION AND DEVELOMENT OF MMESE
In the Strict sense, MMESE appeared in the early 1980' as a kind of theory and science. However, the development of MMESE can be traced back to the early activities of human being. Thus it can be seen that the formation and development of MMESE has experienced a long historical stages.


From remote antiquity, in order to promote his capacity for remaking nature and changing the world, human being has been continuously improving his working tools from generation to generation up to today's large scale machines. When human being used the simple tools to carry out the strenuous work at the initial stage, the optimum combination issue of man-machine-environment system had been put forward objectively. The first Industrial Revolution taken place in the eighteen to nineteen centuries and the subsequent Energy Revolution made human being step into machine ages. The work which human being did changed a lot in terms of its complexity and workload, and the complicated relationship between man, machine and environment began to take shape. In the early twenties centuries,  F.W.Taylor, an Englishman, proposed the study of human operation and laid down  the corresponding operating rules, which is known as "Taylor System".


Later on, the experimental research was began to made systematically on the relationship between man, machine and environment, and a great deal of relevant data were accumulated. In the 1940', especially during the Second World War, a variety of new types of weapons appeared continuously and their specifications were gradually becoming complicated. In the 1950', the application of electronic computers was growing rapidly. In the 1960', the breakthrough progress was made with respect to the manned space activities. All of these made the research more urgent concerning the issue of the relationship between man, machine and environment. Consequently, such subjects as Human Factors, Human Engineering, Engineering Psychology, Ergonomics, Human Factors Engineering and Man-Machine System appeared successively, which accumulated the experimental data and experience about man, machine and environment from the different aspects and various angles, and laid a foundation for the formation of the MMESE. Nevertheless, during this period, the attention of the research work was paid to how to enable man to fit the machine and the environment. In spite of some understandings, the issue of how to fit the machine design to the human characteristics and needs, and how to remould and control the environment lack complete and systematic viewpoints for fully solving the relationship between man, machine and environment. Although various data on man, machine and environment had been obtained, it is hard to achieve the optimum effects on how to utilize these data if being conducted with experience only.


In 1980, in the demand of by the army, navy and air force, the America Academy of Science organized a special committee to focus on the analyzing and studying the existing research situation of the field. In 1981, it published a special report named “Research Needs for Human Factors”. It admitted that some of the major faults in the design and research resulted from purely depending on the past twenties years data thus slackening the basic research in the 1970'. As a result, some of their research programmers had to be adjusted.


In 1981, according to the practice made in the researches on the manned space activities and the careful analysis to the relevant information home and abroad, under the inspiration and instruction of the systematic science thought of Scientist Qian Xuesen, Professor Chen Xin and Long Shengzhao put forward in broad outline the scientific concept of MMESE. This marked the formation of this new science in China.


Using the theory of systematic science and the approach of the system engineering, MMESE is a science which deals correctly with the relationship between man, machine and environment, and studies deeply the optimum combination of man-machine- environment system. Its research objects are man-machine-environment systems. In the system the "Man" means the working people as the subject in the workplace (e.g. operator, decision-maker); The "Machine" means the general name of any object controlled by man (e.g. automobiles, aeroplanes, boats and ships, production process etc.); The "Environment" means the specially working conditions under which Man and Machine occupy together (e.g. temperature, noise, vibration, hazardous gases etc.). Basic goal of the optimum combination is "Safety, High Efficiency and Economy". What is called the "Safety" means there is no physiological hazard to human bodies, and the accidents should be minimized as possible as they can; the so-called the "High Efficiency" means the overall system has the best working performance or the highest working efficiency; the "Economy" indicates the establishment of the system should cost with minimum on the premise of the technical requirements with which the system satisfied, i.e. the ensurence of the system economy.


The most significant characteristic of MMESE is that on the basis of the deep research on their own performance of man, machine and environment, regarding them as three major components of the system, it lays stress on the general performance of the overall system, accordingly, through the information delivery, processing and control between these three components, makes them constitute a complex interconnected macro system, and enables the system to have the comprehensive performance of "Safety, High Efficiency and Economy" with the use of system engineering approaches. Moreover, the MMESE abandoned the previous passive viewpoint of regarding the environment as disturbing factors, and advocates actively the overall planning and controlling to the environment in accordance with the general requirements of the system by looking upon it as one link. As a result of the above, the MMESE not only brings Human Factors, Human Engineering, Engineering Psychology, Ergonomics, Human Factors Engineering, Man-Machine System etc. into a unified scientific frame, avoiding the disorders in concepts and terms; but also studies the priority order of various combination of man- machine-environment system from the high level of the overall system, changing the previous dispersion and isolation of research situation; all of which make the practical activities regarding the design and development of man-machine-environment system enter into a new stage. It should be pointed out that the appearance of the MMESE doesn't mean negating or taking the place of the above subjects, but raises these similar or supplement each other research categories to a higher level and wider field for analyzing and synthesizing, further, pushes the research level of these fields to a new stage.


To sum up, the pre1940' is the embryonic stage of MMESE; the 1940' to the 1970' is the preparation stage; the early 1980' is the actual development stage of this theory. Although it is in early stage, the concepts of MMESE have influenced every human activities. Its continuous development and day by day perfection must exert its active impacts on the development of science and technology.


 2 RESEARCH CONTENTS OF MMESE
The research contents of MMESE can be illustrated in figure 2. It contains seven aspects, that is: research on the man character,  research on the machine character,  research on the environment

 

character, research on the man-machine relationship, research on the man-environment relationship, research on the machine-environment relationship, research on the overall performance of man-machine-environment system. The major research points of these seven aspects are briefly described as follows:


2.1  Research on the man character
It is primary includes the study of human working capacity; measurement and evaluation of human fundamental capability; The study of human physical and mental workload; the study of human reliability; the study of human mathematical model (control model and decision-making model); the study of anthropometric technology; the study of operator selecting and training.


2.2  Research on the machine character
It is primary includes operability and maintainability of the machine; dynamic modeling technology of the controlled objects; the study of error-preventing design for the machine.


2.3  Research on the environment character
It is primary includes the study of environment monitoring technology; the study of environment controlling technology; the study of environment modeling technology.


2.4  Research on the man-machine relationship
It is primary includes research on the static man-machine relationship, for instance, the arrangement of work space and its design; research on the dynamic man-machine, including: the study of the function allocation of the man and machine (the study on the function comparison of the man and machine, the study of the allocation methods of functions for the man and machine, the study oh artificial intelligence); the study of man-machine interface (display and control technology, the design and evaluation of man-machine interface); the application of multiple-medium technology to the study of man-machine relationship.


2.5  Research on the man-environment relationship
It is primary includes environmental influence on man; the study of personal protective measures.


2.6  Research on the machine-environment relationship
It is primary includes environmental influence on machine performance; machine influence on environment.


2.7  Research on the overall performance of man-machine-environment system
It is primary includes the study of the overall mathematical model of man-machine-environment system; the study of total mathematical simulation, half physical simulation and total physical simulation technology of man-machine-environment system; the analysis, design and evaluation of the overall performance of man-machine-environment system (Safety, High Efficiency and Economy).


 3  IMPLEMENT METHODS OF MMESE
The implement methods of the MMESE can be summarized as follows in four sentences: i.e., based on three theories (the cybernetics, the optimization theory and the modeling theory), analyzing three factors (the Man, the Machine and the Environment), going through three procedures (scheme decision, development and production, and operational use), achieving three goals (the Safety, the High Efficiency and the Economy).


3.1  Based on three theories
The MMESE is an interdisciplinary science and technology. It absorbs rich nutrition from a series of fundamental subjects for the establishment of its own theoretical system, which, in turn, lays a foundation of its own elementary theory. Its basic theory may be summarized into cybernetics, modeling theory and optimization theory.


3.1.1  Cybernetics
The fundamental dedication of cybernetics lies in that it broke down the barriers between the organic and the inorganic substance with such general concepts and terms as system, information, feedback so that it can not only enable men to study these three factors (man, machine and environment), by means of unified viewpoint and yardstick, whose material attributes are entirely different and not interrelated, but also make itself an organic, undivided whole.


3.1.2  Modeling theory
Modeling theory can provide a set of complete mathematical analysis tool for research of the Man-Machine-Environment System Engineering. It is obvious that the MMESE requires not only qualifying but also describing the motion pattern of the whole system quantitatively. For this reason, an appropriate mathematical model must be utilized in light of the different object, and through the procedures such as modeling, parameter discriminating, simulating and checking, the actual world regular law can be demonstrated with the use of mathematical terms.


3.1.3  Optimization theory
The primary starting point of optimization theory is that there tends to be many different kinds of approaches and ways in search of the optimization combination for a man-machine-environment system, where there must be one or several kind of best or better combination. Such a viewpoint and train of thought for seeking the optimization is the quintessence of the MMESE. The optimization theory is the mathematical means for embodying the quintessence.


3.2  Analyzing three factors
The aim of the analysis of three factors (the Man, the Machine and the Environment), is mainly to study how to constitute the desired man-machine-environment system with specially designated functions by means of these three factors. Often, man-machine-environment systems can be divided into three categories in terms of its specifications and complexity.


3.2.1  Simple man-machine-environment systems
In this system, one operator alone operates one machine only, working under the specially designated environment. Current automobiles, trains, planes and so on belong to such kind of system.


3.2.2  Complex man-machine-environment systems
The characteristics of this kind of system is that one operator may operate simultaneously two machines or over; or, one or several machines may be operated by several operators at the same time. Many existing industrial machines are operated in the way described above.


3.2.3  Macro man-machine-environment systems
This kind of system exists widely in the various production enterprises. Its supreme decision-maker conducts the coordinated management and system control for the working situations of the subordinate departments through a set of command/control system. This is, in a broad sense, a typical man-machine-environment system.


It is apparent that any kind of simple, complex and macro man-machine-environment system is a complicated macro-system. This is because human body himself is a macro system, so are the machine (or computers), plus various environmental effects, all of these contribute the complication of such macro man-machine-environment. It has been proved practically that the general performance of a system is determined not only by their separate performance of its components, but also by the link pattern between its components, i.e. the delivery, processing and control of the information. Therefore, it is quite difficult to achieve the optimum combination of the man, the machine and the environment. Furthermore, the researches on these three factors (the man, the machine and the environment) originated from the different subject fields, whose research methods and principles are also quite different. At present, in order to compose a complex macro-system with them, a theory must be established which can be used to describe uniformly their own specifications and interrelations of the man, the machine and the environment. Without such a theory as guide, you could not begin to talk about the deep research to the whole system, neither the achievement of the optimum design of the whole system. It is the MMESE that appeared right in view of this situation.


3.3  Going through three procedures
In order to apply the Man-Machine-Environment System Engineering theory to various fields, generally speaking, such three stages should be experienced as scheme decision, development and production, and operational use (see figure 3).


3.3.1  Scheme decision stage
The scheme decision phase belongs to theoretical analysis category, also is the decisive phase. In this stage, the Man-Machine-Environment System Engineering theory can provide a set of complete decision theory for the general plan design of man-machine-environment system, in which the principal purpose is to set up their own mathematical model of the Man, the Machine, the Environment, and the overall system model. Then the mathematical simulation of the whole system and optimum calculation may be carried out by means of computer for the determining of the optimum parameters of the Man, the Machine and the Environment, and the optimum combination scheme of the system.


3.3.2  Development and production stage
In the development and production phase, the task of the Man-Machine-Environment System Engineering theory is to decide the best approach to achieve the optimum scheme. The phase lay stress on man, the main body of work, participating the system. Through half or total physical simulation, the whole and local performance of man-machine-environment system can be continuously analyzed and checked, and the technical index of every sub-systems be coordinated so that the optimum performance of the system be achieved.


3.3.3  Operational use stage
In the operational use stage, the task of the Man-Machine-Environment System Engineering theory is to give some opinions on how to fully develop the existing system performance (e.g. criterion for operator selecting and program of operators training) so that each component can exert its maximum functions; and to give new proposals for further improvement and promotion of the system performance.
 

 

 

 


3.4  Achieving three aims
In general, it is difficult to meet simultaneously these three indexes (Safety, High Efficiency and Economy) and sometimes contradictory. Therefore, in order to achieve these three goals (Safety, High Efficiency and Economy) of the established the man- machine-environment system with the use of system engineering approach, we need firstly to assume several design scheme, then to conduct total mathematical simulation, half or total physical simulation in accordance with each scheme. According to overall performance of the system, the optimum scheme can be determined. After carrying out the feasibility study of the system scheme, the decision can made on the optimum scheme. The scheme chosen on the basis of the above is the perfect scheme.


In a word, with the use of the research approach of the Man-Machine-Environment System Engineering, it enable men to step from quality to quantity, from inaccuracy to accuracy, from experience to science in designing and establishing any man-machine-environment system. It may not only achieve the optimum combination of the man-machine-environment system, but also avoid a great deal of rework in engineering technology and a large amount of waste in economy, thus the development and production process will be speeded up.


4 APPLICATIONS PROSPECT ANALYSIS OF MMESE
Obviously, at any production process, working machines/tools are the material base for the production of materials and the fundamental necessity for the promotion of productive forces. However, any machine require of men operation, and man and machine exist under some specially designated environment. Therefore, the working machine is just a potential productive forces, only by combining it with man and working environment organically can it become the realistic productive forces(see Figure 4). For this reason, to promote social productive forces dramatically, we must fully utilize the cream of modern science and technology; transition from the general qualitative description of consciousness and material, subjective and objective, man and machine to their quantitative description from the high plane of philosophy;  need not only  the    foundation of  scientific theories              and man, machine and environment
and the  approach of  scientific
recordings, also measures for bringing the initiative of men into full play. The vigorous application and development of MMESE concerning the researches on working machines will enable human being to achieve a new leap from quality to quantity, from perceptual knowledge to scientific experimental research on the basis of the study of Human Engineering, Physiology, Psychology, Ergonomics, Human Factors, Engineering Technology and Environmental science, which provide reliable scientific and technical means for the development of productive forces.


When we describe the social production activities, we must start with the simple man-machine-environment systems which is the most common, ordinary and elementary component. Therefore, when we study any single working group, we should begin with the most simple, one to one working unit, subsequently, one to several, several to one, several to several working unit (i.e. complex man-machine-environment system), at last study the large scale working group (i.e. macro man-machine-environment system). Man-machine-environment system engineering is an effective scientific means for conducting these researches. In view of the above, as long as we can actively use man-machine-environment system engineering theory, we should fully expose the various regular pattern regarding the development of productive forces, furtherly, provide the scientific bases and its implementing ways for the promotion of productive forces.

 

5  CONCLUSION

It has been indicated by the facts that as long as we observe carefully the principles of the Man-Machine-Environment System Engineering to conduct the working activities, we can obtain the better effects.


To sum up, it can be believed that the vigorous applications of the Man- Machine-Environment System Engineering theory must make its contribution to the development of national economy.

 

References
[1].Hsin Chen, Shengzhao Long. A summary introduction to Man-Machine-Environment System Engineering. Proceedings (Vol.3), Institute of Space Medico-Engineering, 1981. Also see: Journal of Nature, 8(1), 1985.
[2] Research Needs for Human Factors. U.S. Notional Academy Press. Washington D. C., 1983.
[3] Hsin Chen, Shengzhao Long. Application of Man-Machine-Environment System Engineering theory to aerospace research. The 32nd International Congress of Aviation and Space Medice, 1984.
[4] Shengzhao Long, Hsin Chen. Man-Machine-Environment System Engineering and its application prospects. The First Session of National Conference on The Analysis, Design and Evaluation of Man-Machine System,1988.
[5] Shengzhao Long, et al. Study of overall analysis method of the Man-Machine-Environment System. 18th Congress of the International Council of the Aeronautical Science, 1992.
[6] Shengzhao Long. Man-Machine-Environment System Engineering theory and its significance in the
development of productive forces. Research Advance for Man-Machine-Environment System Engineering,Vol.1, Beijing Science and Technology Press, 1993.
[7] Shengzhao Long. The position in science and technology development and application prospects analysis of  Man-Machine-Environment System Engineering theory. Research Advance for Man-Machine- Environment System Engineering, Vol.4, Ocean Press, 1999.
[8] Shengzhao Long. Past, now and future of Man-Machine-Environment System Engineering——The 20th formation anniversary of Man-Machine-Environment System Engineering. Research Advance for Man-Machine- Environment System Engineering, Vol.5, Ocean Press, 2001
[9] Shengzhao Long. The relationship between Man-Machine-Environment System Engineering and some orrelative discipline. Research Advance for Man-Machine- Environment System Engineering, Vol.5, Ocean ress, 2003
[10] Shengzhao Long, et al. Foundation of theory and application of Man-Machine- Environment System
Engineering Science Press, 2004
[11] Shengzhao Long. The role and position in modern society of MMESE engineer. Research Advance for an-Machine- Environment System Engineering, Vol.5, Ocean Press, 2005

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prof. Long Shengzhao    

Professor, Achieved the Government Specific Allowance. 

Chairman of MMESE Committee of System Engineering Society of China. 

 

Graduated from the Shanghai Science and technology University in 1965, China. In 1981, directing  under famous Scientist Qian Xuesheng, founded MMESE theory. In 1982, proposed  and  developed  Human  Fuzzy  Control  Model using fuzzy mathematics. From August of 1986 to August of 1987, conducted research in Man-Machine System as a visiting scholar at Tufts University, Massachusetts, U.S.A. In 1993, organized MMESE Committee of System Engineering Society of China. Edited 《Research Advances for Man-Machine-Environment System Engineering》(Vol.1~7).
E-mail: szlong@mmese.com, shzhlong@sina.com

(Literature Source: International Journal of Man-Machine-Environment System Engineering, Vol.1, No.1,2007: p1-12)