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Integrating human factors and operational research in a multidisciplinary investigation of road maintenance

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There has been limited collaboration between researchers in human factors and operational research disciplines, particularly in relation to work in complex, distributed systems. This study aimed to investigate work at the interface between human factors and operational research in the case example of road resurfacing work. Descriptive material on the factors affecting performance in road maintenance work was collected with support from a range of human factors-based methods and was used to inform operational research analyses. Investigation of the case example from a different perspective, for the supply of asphalt from a distribution centre to multiple work locations, gave a broader picture of the complexity and challenges for the improvement of road maintenance processes. Factors affecting performance in the road maintenance context have been assessed for their potential for further investigation using an integrated human factors and operational research approach. Relative strengths of the disciplines and a rationale for ongoing, collaborative work are described. Statement of Relevance: The paper provides evidence of the potential benefits of greater collaboration across human factors and operational research disciplines, using investigation of a case example in the complex, distributed system of road resurfacing.
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Keywords: human factors; operational research; road maintenance; scheduling

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Human Factors Research Group, Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK 2: The Automated Scheduling, Optimisation and Planning Group, School of Computer Science, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK 3: Nottingham Transportation Engineering Centre, Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK

Publication date: May 1, 2011

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