Human factors aspects of power system visualizations: An empirical investigation

Thomas J. Overbye, Yan Sun, Douglas A. Wiegmann, Aaron M. Rich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper describes an experimental approach to formally testing the usability of different power system visualizations. In particular, the ability of participants to assess and correct power system voltage problems was tested. Participants were divided into three groups: the first group saw only tabular data, the second group one-line data, while the third group saw one-line data and a color voltage contour. The time required to acknowledge the voltage violations and to correct the violations were assessed. The results suggest that both types of displays imposed specific costs, as well as afforded certain benefits to users, with the integrated one-line diagrams producing an overall better performance. These findings indicate that no one type of display may be best for all tasks and underscore the need for empirical human factors analysis of new visualization techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)877-888
Number of pages12
JournalElectric Power Components and Systems
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2002


  • Contouring
  • Human factors
  • Power system operations and planning
  • Voltage visualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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