Who we are

The Interactive Critical Systems (ICS) team gathers professors, researchers, engineers, phd students who are interested in the engineering of interactive systems. Our research targets notations, processes and tools for the design, implementation and evaluation of interactive systems thus having a strong bias towards software engineering. ICS team focusses on the integration of multiple and sometimes conflicting properties such as usability, user experience, dependability and safety.

We have a long-term experience in safety critical application domains including:

Beyond these well-known safety critical domains, we address domains where the potential costs of a failure is much higher that development costs. This includes application domains such as large web applications, mass-market systems such as home entertainment and computer games, and more recently health applications such as rehabilitation training platforms.

ICS team is renowned internationally for its research in HCI with the presidency of the IFIP Technical Committee TC13 on Human Computer Interaction. Beyond, some of the ICS team members have a major participation in the ACM SIGCHI leadership with long lasting involvement in its Executive Committee and via the chairing of the steering committee of ACM CHI conference series.

We regularly welcome visiting scientists to collaborate with us. Examples of recent visits are:

  • Andy Cockburn and Carl Gutwin for the design of safe touch interactions in the cockpit

  • Georgia Lallai and Davide Spano for the engineering of task-model based augmented reality for initial training in the cockpit

What we do

  • Formal design of critical interactive systems description language

    The capability to validate the behavior of a critical human computer interactive system, like a cockpit for pilots requires high-level formal design language to model interaction

  • Methods to embed multiple properties in interactive systems such as Usability and User Experience, Reliability, Fault-Tolerance, Resilience, Human-Error Tolerance

    Research domains such as HCI or dependable computing usually provide scientific contributions in order to ensure the presence (or demonstrate the absence) of a given property. Understanding one property and the surrounding research contributions is not enough when critical systems are considered. ICS tries to bring such perspective in the HCI domain by defining methods and processes for engineering safe, usable, reliable and fault tolerant systems

  • Automation

    Automation is one of the design options of interactive systems development. Automation has been deeply studied in the Human Factor literature focusing on the issues related to the impact on operator behavior when using autonomous systems. Research at ICS on that aspects takes an engineering perspective on this studying at the same time, user interfaces and interaction for interaction with automation but also how to develop reliable and safe autonomous systems

  • Dependable and Usable Touch Interactions

    Building dependable touch interactions remains an unsolved topics that ICS addresses, and in particular engineering dependable, reliable and turbulence-tolerant touch interactions

  • Engineering Task Models

    Describing both operator tasks and interactive systems behavior is required for designing and engineering effective, efficient and dependable interactive systems. ICS team has devoted a lot of time on design and building a notation (called HAMSTERS) for describing operators’ tasks. The tool for editing and simulating tasks descriptions is now mature and used in many companies/institutions (e.g. Eurocontrol).

ICS team manages the master in HCI of the University of Toulouse III created in 2000 and co-accredited with ENAC.

Application domains

Education & Training
Ground Segments
Home & Entertainment
Launch Pads

Scientific areas

Software engineering


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