Towards a Characterization of Scheduling Task Complexity

Publication Date


Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Title

AIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition, AIAA SciTech Forum 2022




Future long-duration missions will require astronauts to act more autonomously, manage their schedules, and replan timelines as anomalies and discoveries occur. Astronauts are not professional planners, however, and the complexity of schedules that novice planners can complete successfully is not fully understood. To identify the primary factors which contribute to scheduling task complexity, we conducted a human-in-the-loop study and developed planning algorithms to investigate how the type and amount of constraints affect the difficulty of scheduling and rescheduling. We created rankings of difficulty using a combination of human performance metrics from experimental planning tasks and metrics describing the final plans that participants scheduled. Using the results of our scheduling and rescheduling algorithm algorithms, we created a similar ranking with which to compare. We created rankings which compared well between the experimental and algorithm results for the scheduling task, but the rescheduling task proved more difficult to estimate.

Funding Number


Funding Sponsor

National Aeronautics and Space Administration


Research Foundation