The National Academies Logo
Research Associateship Programs
Fellowships Office
Policy and Global Affairs

Participating Agencies - ARL/USMA

  Sign InPrintable View

Opportunity at Davies Teaching Fellowships (ARL/USMA)

Network Science: Social Networks and Cognitive Factors


MD and FL-Human Research & Engineering Dir-FFP, Human Research and Engineering Directorate - FFP

RO# Location
AA.27.01.B7068 Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 210055425


Name E-mail Phone
Buchler, Norbou 410.278.9403


Communication and information technology has transformed military capabilities to engage in network-centric operations. To an unprecedented degree, Soldiers collaborate in distributed networks across areas of operations often using specialized information systems and communication platforms to manage the imperative to collect and analyze intelligence, secure a populace, deliver supplies, and wage war. Our interdisciplinary approach leverages convergent methodologies to include experimental psychology (experimental design), cognitive science (modeling), human factors (usability, work domain analysis), and network science (social network analysis). The emerging interdisciplinary field of network science is of particular interest to our research efforts to address a preeminent challenge posed by the sheer complexity of human-in-the-loop networks and may serve to guide the systematic convergence of technology, information, and people. The objective of our research is to understand the effects that networked systems have on human cognition and team dynamics, and to develop models, theories, and analytical approaches to examine cognitive processes, information properties, and to identify key network dynamics across the social-cognitive-technological levels. Networked systems do not necessarily take into account the processing capabilities and limitations of the human brain. Cognitive performance—evidenced by effective distributed collaboration and decision making— may or may not be well-supported by our networks and Soldier technologies. It is imperative that we understand what aspects of network operations cause an undue cognitive burden to the command staff and dismounted Soldiers who collaborate with and pull information from media such as radios, text messages, emails, battle command systems, sensors, and ground and air unmanned assets. The objective is to develop decision aids to help integrate information management for users who especially are required to rapidly and efficiently process information from sources at multiple levels. A better understanding is required of system usage on communication flow, information transfer, cognitive workload, situational awareness, expertise, individual differences, and their effects on performance. This knowledge is instrumental to the development of battle command decision support tools that improve information relevance (data aggregation), and team collaboration and synchronization (alert/aiding capabilities). This work should ultimately result in networked information systems well-aligned to the needs of the warfighter by matching system requirements to Soldier cognition and collaborations through an enhanced understanding of human-system team interactions.


Network science; Social networks; Cognitive psychology; Modeling; Analysis; Information science; Human factors; Cognitive systems engineering; Statistics;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants
Copyright © 2014. National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. 500 Fifth St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement.