Current research projects


since 2010: this project is partly funded by the UNiversity of Toulouse. It involves the IRIT lab and the Telescope Bernard Lyot (TBL) unit of the OMP lab.
The goal is to use existing 3D models of the telescope (TBL) as a vector to explain how the TBL is working, how astronomic observations are performed and to more widely disseminate the result of scientific observation lead in the TBL.
To do so we seek to understand how advanced multimodal interaction techniques (combining tangible, tactile, gestural, ...) must be designed to appropriately fit the requirements of the navigation, manipulation and selection in 3D spaces by occasional and non expert users.
Some of the techniques are demonstrated during the "Novella - 2013"


since 2012: This project is partly supported by the Région Midi-Pyrenees, the University of Toulosue (PRES) and the INPT.
The goal of this project is to explore how to support the combination of 3D models of different natures (resolution, format). The idea is to define a method to sew together different 3D models and to identify the needs and possibilities in terms of user's interaction depending on the part of the 3D composition that is visible / manipulated by the user.
see Adrien Hamelin's home page for more information.


since 2013: This project is partly funded by the region Midi-Pyrenees. It involves the INSER UMR 1037 unit, the IRIT lab, the CNRS - LAAS lab and Cap Gemini.
The aim of this project is to design and implement computing systems supporting the creation, manipulation and edition of maps of molecular interactions documenting biological information related to effectiveness of treatments against cancer. We especially focus on the analyse, design and development of interactive visualisation techniques to facilitate the use of such maps. Focus and context, layered interface, 3D representation and associated interaction techniques are of interest in this project.

ASUR modelling

This project is an on-going research activity in which I am involved since the begining of my research career. It is a sort of "fil d'Ariane" around which I am leading my research.

Aims and scope
The use of Mixed Systems is no longer limited to specific and very demanding application domains such as military applications, surgery and maintenance. More and more application domains are now interested in the fusion of the physical and digital worlds to offer new interaction situations to the users. Exploratory approaches, leading to the development of ad'hoc solutions, are thus no longer satisfactory: there is now a crucial need for design tools and methods, tackling the specificities of such interactive systems. In this context, my research is mainly focused on the understanding of the user's interaction with Mixed Interactive Systems and the development of design elements for this kind of interactive systems.

The approach
I am working on the development of the ASUR modelling approach for describing mixed interactive systems with a user's interaction point of view, as opposed to a possible system point of view that would describe classes, activity, software behaviour, etc. It includes models, links between design models of different nature and link with other kinds of design ressources.
Outcomes of this on-going research activity include:

  • ASUR model: ASUR is a notational-based model for describing user-system interaction in mixed interactive systems. ASUR is intended to help in reasoning about how to combine physical and digital worlds to achieve user-significant results. To do so, ASUR is based on the identification of the particiapting entities and relationships among them, that are called interaction channels. Attributes have been identified to refine the description of these elements.
    Emmanuel Dubois, Philip Gray. A Design-Oriented Information-Flow Refinement of the ASUR Interaction Model. Dans : Engineering Interactive Systems (EHCI-HCSE-DSVIS 2007), Salamanca - Spain, 22/03/2007-24/03/2007, Jan Gulliksen, Morton B Harning, Philippe Palanque, Gerrit Van Der Verr, Janett Wesson (Eds.), IFIP, p. 465-482, mars 2007.
    Guillaume Gauffre, Emmanuel Dubois. Taking Advantage of Model-Driven Engineering Foundations for Mixed Interaction Design. Dans : Model Driven Develoment of Advanced User Interfaces. H Hussmann, G Meixner, D Zuehlke (Eds.), Springer-Verlag, 4.1.3, p. 219-240, Vol. 340, Studies in Computational Intelligence, 1, 2011.
  • ASUR-IL model: it is a model that supports the software design of Mixed Interactive Systems on the basis of the ASUR description of the given MIS.
  • the ideation method MACS: Model Assisted Creativity Session. The objective is to use ASUR during a brainstorming session to stimulate the creativity of participants by providing a structured list of MIS aspects to consider.
    Christophe Bortolaso, Emmanuel Dubois. Model Assisted Creativity Sessions for the Design of Mixed Interactive Systems: a Protocol Analysis (regular paper). Dans : IFIP TC 13 International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, Cap Town, South Africa, 02/09/2013-06/09/2013, Paul Kotze, Janet Wesson (Eds.), Springer, p. 1-18, 2013
  • ASUR to ASUR-IL and ASUR-IL to WComp (prototyping platform) transformation mechanisms based on Model Driven Engineering tools and ressources (ATL, ontologies, repositories, etc.)
    Emmanuel Dubois, Christophe Bortolaso, Damien Appert, Guillaume Gauffre. An MDE-based framework to support the development of Mixed Interactive Systems. Dans : Science of Computer Programming, Elsevier, Numéro spécial Success Stories in Model Driven Engineering, 2013
  • GuideMe, the graphical environment for manipulating ASUR and associated models, transformations and ergonomic recommandations (principles, interactive design tools)
  • RESIM, a repository of ergonomic recommendations for MIS (interactive repository)
    Emmanuel Dubois, Dominique L. Scapin, Syrine Charfi, Christophe Bortolaso. Usability Recommendations for Mixed Interactive Systems: extraction and integration in a design process. Dans : Human factors in augmented reality environments. T Huang, L Alem, M Livingston (Eds.), Springer USA, 8, p. 181-199, Vol. X, 1, 2013.
  • a repository of MIS design solutions, illustrated and modelled with our design tools (repository)
  • SIMBA a simulation platform of MIS, based on the ASUR modelling of the considered MIS
    Emmanuel Dubois, Wafaa Abou Moussa, Cédric Bach, Nelly de Bonnefoy. Modelling and Simulation of Mobile Mixed Systems. Dans : Handbook of Research on User Interface Design and Evaluation for Mobile Technology. J. Lumsden (Eds.), Idea Group, p. 220-229, février 2008.
  • a methodological attempt to link task analysis (with KMAD) to the ASUR model
    Syrine Charfi, Emmanuel Dubois, Dominique L. Scapin. Usability Recommendations in the Design of Mixed Interactive Systems (short paper). Dans : ACM SIGCHI conference Engineering Interactive Computing Systems (EICS 2009), Pittsburgh, PA, USA, 14/07/09-17/07/09, Philip Gray, Gaelle Calvary (Eds.), ACM, p. 231-236, 2009.

Past research projects


2008 - 2011: CARE is a French research project funded by the French research agency ( ANR ) and brings together 7 partners: Metapage, Immersion, IRIT, LIG, LIMSI, ESTIA, UTT.
The project goal is to integrate, adapt and develop tools to enhance interactive systems devoted to cultural experiences. These enhancements are based on Augmented Reality and Emotions. Besides the enhancement of the two specific scenarios considered in the project ( Ballet of Biarritz and Museum of Toulouse ), CARE results include methodological supports for the design and evaluation of interactive experiences using augmented reality and emotions in a public and cultural context as well as new generic interaction techniques based on augmented reality technologies.
Web site


2007 - 2010: This work is funded by the Region Midi Pyrenees and done in close collaboration with the Museum d'Histoire Naturelle of Toulouse, Metapages (a company in Toulouse) and the LECP research laboratory (Etude et Conservation du Patrimoine).
The first goal of this project is to elaborate a participatory design process adapted to the development of advanced interactive techniques, used to support the diffusion of a knowledge in a public space context. The second goal is to equip this design process with a set of design and evaluation tools dedicated to advanced forms of interaction techniques (mixed interactive systems / mixed reality, tangible interfaces, etc.).
Web site


2004 - 2007: This work is funded by the Region Midi Pyrenees and done in close collaboration with the Museum d'Histoire Naturelle of Toulouse, Metapages (a company in Toulouse) and the LECP research laboratory (Etude et Conservation du Patrimoine).
This project is focusing on the human centred design and usage centred evaluation of advanced interactive technologies in the context of a museum. The goal is more specifically to identify issues that constrains the development of a design methodology addressing these aspects of the develoment of advanced interactive systems. The aim is then to identify a set of relevant design tools and approaches for each identified issue and to establish a possible design process.

BQRs: one year projects funded by the University of Toulouse

  • 2013, Interactive 3D platform for simulating and monitoring the TBL: the goal is twofold. First it consists in designing an opened interactive platform representing the TBL and the collected data. Second, it aims at designing and experimenting advanced interaction techniques for navigating and manipulating the platform.
  • 2012, EVITA: The goal is to design a 3D environement representing the TBL, to collect real time data and to study and offer appropriate navigation support in the scene
  • 2012, Amuse-NV: This work explores advanced forms of interaction to support accessibility to blind visitors of a museum.
  • 2009, IBallon: The goal of this project is to design and implement a Balloon-based interaction for navigating Google Earth. It is intended to explore the effect of user's manipulation that directly fit behaviour of the system. Technical problems will have to be solved in order to use 6-DOF sensors.
  • 2008, Inflatable UI: The goal is to explore the concept of inflatable UI to navigate 3D virtual environments
  • 2007, Tangible Google Earth: This project aims at exploring and comparing interaction techniques for pointing / selecting data on a large scale 2D display. Traditionnal, tactile and mixed interaction techniques are envisioned. Comparison will be established on the basis of user experiments and interaction models
  • 2006, Multi-facetted interaction: In the context of Mixed Interaction Techniques, the mutli-facetted interaction causes the data manipulated by the user to be disseminated over the physical space. This project aims at observing the impact on the user of having to deal with several interaction places simultaneously
Current projects