Team coordination and effectiveness in human-autonomy teaming

Mustafa Demir, Aaron D. Likens, Nancy Cooke, Polemnia Amazeen, Nathan J. McNeese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


In the past, team coordination dynamics have been explored using nonlinear dynamical systems (NDS) methods, but the relationship between team coordination dynamics and team performance for all-human teams was assumed to be linear. The current study examines team coordination dynamics with an extended version of the NDS methods and assumes that its relationship with team performance for human-autonomy teams (HAT) is nonlinear. In this study, three team conditions are compared with the goals of better understanding how team coordination dynamics differ between all-human teams and HAT and how these dynamics relate to team performance and team situation awareness. Each condition was determined based on manipulation of the pilot role: In the first condition (synthetic) the pilot role was played by a synthetic agent, in the second condition (control) it was a randomly assigned participant, and in the third condition (experimenter) it was an expert who used a role specific coordination script. NDS indices revealed that synthetic teams were rigid, followed by experimenter teams, who were metastable, and control teams, who were unstable. Experimenter teams demonstrated better team effectiveness (i.e., better team performance and team situation awareness) than control and synthetic teams. Team coordination stability is related to team performance and team situation awareness in a nonlinear manner with optimal performance and situation awareness associated with metastability coupled with flexibility. This result means that future development of synthetic teams should address these coordination dynamics, specifically, rigidity in coordination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8526337
Pages (from-to)150-159
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2019


  • Human-autonomy teaming
  • nonlinear dynamical systems
  • synthetic agent
  • team coordination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Signal Processing
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Artificial Intelligence


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