Object-Process Methodology as an Alternative to Human Factors Task Analysis

Dov Dori, Ahmad Jbara, Yongkai E. Yang, Andrew M. Liu, Charles M. Oman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: We define and demonstrate the use of OPM-TA—a model-based task analysis (TA) framework that uses object-process methodology (OPM) ISO 19450 as a viable alternative to traditional TA techniques. Background: A variety of different TA methods exist in human factors engineering, and several of them are often applied successively for a broad task representation, making it difficult to follow. Method: Using OPM-TA, we modeled how an International Space Station (ISS) astronaut would support extravehicular activities using the existing robotic arm workstation with a new control panel and an electronic procedure system. The modeling employed traditional TA methods and the new OPM-TA approach, enabling a comparison between them. Results: While the initial stages of modeling with OPM-TA follow those of traditional TA, OPM-TA modeling yields an executable and logically verifiable model of the entire human–robot system. Both OPM’s hierarchical set of diagrams and the equivalent, automatically generated statements in a subset of natural language text specify how objects and processes relate to each other at increasingly detailed levels. The graphic and textual OPM modalities specify the system’s architecture, which enables its function and benefits its users. To verify the model logical correctness model, we executed it using OPM’s simulation capability. Conclusion: OPM-TA was able to unify traditional TA methods and expand their capabilities. The formal yet intuitive OPM-TA approach fuses and extends traditional TA methods, which are not amenable to simulation. It therefore can potentially become a widely used means for TA and human–machine procedure development and testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1451-1472
Number of pages22
JournalHuman Factors
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • ISO 19450
  • conceptual modeling
  • electronic procedures
  • human factors engineering
  • object-process methodology
  • task analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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