Screenshot of SINTELLA.
Screenshot of SINTELLA.

The Analysis Simulation Project

The Analysis Simulation Project (ASP) was originally conceived to investigate the information processing behavior of military and law enforcement intelligence analysts.

This came about as a result of the inquiries into the performance of intelligence agencies concerning the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States and subsequent invasion of Iraq.

We developed an experimental method called SINTELLA (Simulation of INTELLigence Analysis) that could track the information acquisition and utilisation behaviour of experimental participants in any knowledge domain where there was uncertainty and a potentially overwhelming abundance of information.

The method has been applied to studying estimations of threat as well as the investigation of a murder. It is currently being used to investigate the performance of volcanologists in the domain of volcanic eruption prediction.

ASP to date has received external funding from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and an International Exchange Grant from the Royal Society of Great Britain. In 2010 ASP-SINTELLA was a finalist in the prestigious Eureka Science Prize competition conducted by the Australia Museum.

ASP experiments have shown that the analysis of complex information environments by capable and motivated experts is subject to predispositions and biases but not to the extent of novices. It is designed to make information accessing behaviour more amenable to scrutiny and give end users of expertise a basis to interrogate the advice given.

ASP is a flexible and dynamic method for investigating human information processing in any domain and is an exciting development in the exploration of higher order cognition and decision-making.

If you are interested in knowing how people think, access information, or categorise their world then ASP-SINTELLA is a potentially powerful tool to investigate these issues. You can disperse your information into discrete units (up to 64 currently) using the ASP-SINTELLA interface and track what information is being accessed, for how long and in what sequences. In addition you can ask how your participants are going using pop-up windows of your own design.

The ASP-SINTELLA methodology can be applied to understanding human thinking and decision making in any domain where information is abundant and uncertainty ever present.

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