The Man-machine Integration Design and Analysis System (MIDAS) combines graphical equipment prototyping, a dynamic simulation, and human performance modeling with the aim to reduce design cycle time, support quantitative predictions of human-system effectiveness, and improve the design of crew stations and their associated operating procedures.
MIDAS has undergone a number of development efforts and redesigns since its inception in 1986 in an attempt to take advantage of the increases in computational efficiency and power. Jim Hartzell and Irv Statler possessed a vision to develop a fully integrated human performance model to predict operator-system performance and termed this vision the Man-machine Integration Design and Analysis System (MIDAS). This vision was pursued in a stage-like manner.
MIDAS 1.0 was a unique workstation-based simulation system developed by the U.S. Army, NASA, and Sterling Software Inc. that contained models of human performance to evaluate candidate crew procedures, controls, and displays prior to more expensive and time consuming human subject experiments. As an exploratory development program, MIDAS progressed through eight development phases through the mid-1990's, each culminating in detailed review demonstrations. While MIDAS fundamentally remained a research program to advance human performance modeling, considerable emphasis was placed on usability, software standards, and collaborations with users.
MIDAS 2.0 was a development phase undertaken by NASA, the US Army, Raytheon Software and San Jose State University built upon MIDAS 1.0 and focused efforts on decreasing the development time for new scenarios (from several months to one or two weeks), increasing the efficiency of the running system (from around 50 times real- time to near real- time), facilitating the process of replacing cognitive and perceptual models (from weeks to days), and expanding the functionality of the system. This effort culminated in the development of an object oriented, rapid prototyping environment.
MIDAS 3.0 is a development phase of MIDAS undertaken between 2004 and 2006 by NASA, QSS Group and San Jose State University that retained most of the behavioral models from within MIDAS 1.0 and 2.0 but augmented MIDAS' multitasking and scheduling capability by integrating NASA's Apex architecture into MIDAS.
MIDAS 4.0 is a development phase of MIDAS undertaken between 2006 and 2007 by NASA, San Jose State University, and Alion Science and Technology. MIDAS 4.0 retains most of the behavioral models from within MIDAS 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0. MIDAS 4.0 retains NASA’s Apex for multitasking and scheduling. MIDAS 4.0 uses plug-ins to communicate to external software (e.g. Jack). MIDAS 4.0 is also entirely on the Windows NT platform.
MIDAS 5.0 is the new MIDAS design that has been under development since 2007. MIDAS 5.0 remains on the Windows NT platform. MIDAS 5.0 has augmented certain behavioral models including the human memory model, the information-seeking model (termed the Salience, Effort, Expectancy, and Value (SEEV) model; Wickens et al., 2005) and certain micro movement models. This new version of MIDAS is a much more streamlined piece of software operating entirely under the MicroSaint C Sharp code base. MIDAS 5.0 also contains an improved distributed simulation capability with the implementation of Sharp-Talk.