Joint doctoral programme in Computer Science of Universidade
do Minho, Universidade de Aveiro and Universidade do Porto
2014/15 Course Edition
Interactive Computing Systems
This document describes a course on “Interactive Computing Systems” to be
offered as part of the 2014/15 edition of the Joint doctoral programme in Computer
Science of Universidade do Minho, Universidade de Aveiro and Universidade do Porto
(MAP-I). The same course run on the academic year 2013/14 as one of the options
in the curricular unit on Programming Paradigms.
| UMinho: || José Creissac Campos [coordinator: email@example.com]
| || Rui José
| UAveiro: || Beatriz Sousa Santos
| || Paulo Dias
1 The topic, its rationale and context
This document describes a course on “Interactive Computing Systems” to be offered as part of
the 2014/15 edition of the Joint doctoral programme in Computer Science of Universidade do
Minho, Universidade de Aveiro and Universidade do Porto (MAP-I). The course covers topics in
the area of Human-Computer Interaction, with a particular emphasis on the Engineering of
Interactive Computing Systems. At the end of this course, students should be able to
understand the opportunities and challenges raised by the continued evolution of interaction
The course is organised by researchers from the Universities of Minho and Aveiro with a vast
and complementary research and teaching experience in the field of Human Computer
Interaction. After a successful first edition in the 2013/14 academic year, the course since
again being proposed as one of the options in the curricular unit on Programming
Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is “a discipline concerned with the design, evaluation
and implementation of interactive computing systems for human use and with the study of major
phenomena surrounding them” [Hewett et al., 1996]. The term ’Computing systems’ is used
here in a broad sense to denote from systems consisting of a single user interacting
with a single computer to spaces enhanced with ubiquitous technology to support the
activities or needs of multiple users. Technological development, in particular in the areas
of embedded and mobile systems, means that “the interface between humans and
computers is harder than ever to define” while at the same time we become more and more
dependent on technology [Sellen et al., 2009]. Making the discipline an active area of
HCI is addressed at the post-graduate programme level in top tier institutions (e.g. CMU,
Stanford, Virginia Tech, UCL, Uppsala, etc.). Offerings range from HCI courses in Information
Systems, Informatics, or Computer Science programmes to HCI specific PhD programmes. Being
an highly interdisciplinary field, HCI can be approached from a variety of angles. The current
proposal takes an approach which is akin to that of courses such as ’Advanced Topics in
Human-Computer Interaction’ (Virginia Tech) or ’Research Topics in Human Computer
Interaction’ (Stanford). Hence, the course focusses in presenting an in-depth view of a number of
advanced topics in relevant areas of the engineering of interactive computing systems
(Evaluation, Interaction techniques, Interaction paradigms, and Design and development
2 Objectives and Learning Outcomes
This course approaches HCI from an Engineering perspective, drawing on the background of the
team. As explained above, the objective is to present students with in-depth treatment of a
number of selected topics. Upon successful completion of this curricular unit, students should be
- formulate UI hypothesis and devise validation experiments, discussing and applying
different evaluation techniques;
- explain the advantages and limitations of describing interactive computing systems
with models, as a way to abstract from the systems’ complexity and to reason about
- discuss the main 3D interfaces available as well as their main applications and
limitations, the guidelines for their development, and present the main challenges in
3D and Natural User Interfaces applications;
- identify which types of context information, context-sensitive procedures, and
interaction techniques might be realistically supported given the limitations of the
technology and the specificities of a particular interaction scenario;
- discuss the advantages, limitations and challenges of interaction through public
displays, the role of the shared nature of public displays in user engagement, and the
key interaction techniques with them;
- explain the concepts of Lean UX and Model-based User Interface development and
contrast their roles in developing interactive computing systems.
- Introduction to HCI
A general introduction to HCI to provide students with enough background for the
topics addressed in the course.
The evaluation of interactive computing systems is addressed from a number of
different perspectives. Traditional approaches based on user testing or expert review
are covered first. Then, the role of models in the analyses of interactive systems
[Harrison et al., 2008, Barbosa et al., 2011] is discussed, and the opportunities that
a clear expression of the problem and systematic analysis techniques may afford
- User studies – usability testing and controlled experiments
- Usability inspection – expert reviews
- Automated analysis through model-based testing
- Automated analysis through formal verification
- Interaction techniques
A number of promising and useful interaction methods are covered. The topic addresses 3D
interfaces and the tracking and displaying technology required to deliver information
according to the user point of view, as well as more recent results using multi-sensory
information. The new perspectives of use open by Natural user interfaces, and their ability
to bind physical and real world and benefit from the capabilities that users already have to
interface with the real world are also addressed [Bowman et al., 2012, Kulik,
- 3D interaction
- Multi-sensory interfaces
- Natural user interfaces
- Development technologies and guidelines
- Interaction paradigms
A number of advanced topics on Interaction Paradigms are addressed here, with a
particular emphasis on Ubiquitous Computing. Topics range from the capability of systems
to adapt to their usage situations (both during design and once deployed) through implicit
interactions and context-awareness [Schmidt, 2013], to the development of public
displays having the ability to create a shared experience between nearby people
and the challenges this creates, such as shared ownership and social negotiation
around their use. Virtual reality systems are also addressed, in particular the
use of 3D application server as a means of prototyping Ubiquitous Computing
- Context-aware sensing systems
- Interactive Public Displays
- Virtual reality systems and the prototyping of Ubiquitous Computing
- Design and development approaches
This module introduces students to two different, and to an extent antagonistic,
approaches: Lean UX [?], which is strongly anchored on fast iterations over multiple
designs and on measuring the results of those designs to support the evolution of the
project; and Model-Based User Interface Development [Meixner et al., 2011], which is
based on the idea of a structured development progressing from more conceptual
models to the final user interface through a process of model refinement. The
students will have the opportunity to contrasts the two approaches and explore
the roles that each might play in the development of an Interactive Computing
- Lean UX
- Model-based development
4 Teaching and Assessment
This course corresponds to 5 ECTS involving a broad range of learning activities with a
particular focus on active learning techniques. These will be favoured, not only for their ability in
stimulating student engagement, but mainly because the learning outcomes proposed for this
course include high-level objectives that can only be achieved through the execution, by the
students, of analysis, development and discussion tasks. Furthermore, the high quality of the
students involved, will contribute to maximise participation and therefore the benefits of the
Lectures will be used to provide an initial background and quickly prepare everyone to the
topic. The use of videos and the study of reference case studies will be used to complement the
presentation of the topics and guide the study of the most commonly used approaches and issues.
Student presentations and exercises will be used to promote engagement and exercise the
analysis of existing work.
- 50% based on written or practical assignments proposed at the end of selected course
- 50% based on an individual survey monograph.
5 Main Bibliography
[Barbosa et al., 2011] Barbosa, A., Paiva, A., and Campos, J. (2011). Test case
generation from mutated task models. In Paternò, F., Luyten, K., Maurer, F.,
Dewan, P., and Santoro, C., editors, Proceedings of the 3rd ACM SIGCHI Symposium
on Engineering Interactive Computing Systems, pages 175–184. ACM. ISBN:
[Bowman et al., 2012] Bowman, D., McMahan, R., and Ragan, E. D. (2012).
Questioning naturalism in 3D user interfaces. Communications of the ACM, 55(9):78–88.
[Harrison et al., 2008] Harrison, M. D., Campos, J. C., Doherty, G., and Loer, K.
(2008). Connecting rigorous system analysis to experience centred design. In Law,
E., Hvannberg, E., and Cockton, G., editors, Maturing Usability: Quality in Software,
Interaction and Value, Human-Computer Interaction Series, chapter 3. Springer.
[Hewett et al., 1996] Hewett, T. T., Baecker, R., Card, S., Carey, T., Gasen, J.,
Mantei, M., Perlman, G., Strong, G., and Verplank, W. (1996). ACM SIGCHI Curricula
for Human-Computer Interaction. Technical report, ACM, New York, NY, USA.
[Kulik, 2009] Kulik, A. (2009). Building on realism and magic for designing 3D
interaction techniques. IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, 29(6):22–33.
[Meixner et al., 2011] Meixner, G., Paternò, F., and Vanderdonckt, J. (2011). Past,
present, and future of model-based user interface development. i-com, 10(3):2–11.
[Schmidt, 2013] Schmidt, A. (2013). Context-aware computing: Context-awareness,
context-aware user interfaces, and implicit interaction. In Soegaard, M. and Dam, R. F.,
editors, The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction. The Interaction Design
Foundation, 2nd edition.
[Sellen et al., 2009] Sellen, A., Rogers, Y., Harper, R., and Rodden, T. (2009).
Reflecting human values in the digital age. Commun. ACM, 52(3):58–66.
José Creissac Campos
- is a an Assistant Professor within the Departamento de
Informática/Universidade do Minho, where he has taught and been responsible for a
number of HCI courses at postgraduate level, and a researcher at HASLab/INESC
TEC. He has successfully supervised 2 PhDs and 17 MScs. His research interests
lie in the intersection of Software Engineering and Human-Computer Interaction
(HCI). Current and recent funded research includes the model-based testing, reverse
engineering and formal analysis of user interfaces, and the prototyping of ambience
intelligence systems using virtual reality simulations. He is a member of IFIP
WG 2.7/13.4 on User Interface Engineering. Among other roles, he was Doctoral
Consortium co-chair for EICS 2013, general co-chair for EICS 2012 and tutorials
co-chair for INTERACT 2011. He serves in the steering committee of the EICS
series of conferences, and regularly serves in the programme committees of several
conferences, including IFIP TC13 INTERACT, ACM CHI (WiP) and ACM EICS.
He was awarded an International Excellence Award by the BCS HCI Group in 2009,
and a Recognition of Service Award by ACM in 2012.
- is an Assistant Professor within the Department
of Electronics Telecommunications and Informatics/University of Aveiro where he
has tough several HCI and Visualization courses at graduate and postgraduate level
as well as several courses on programing. His main research interests are within,
Virtual Reality, Computer Vision, Visualization Combination and fusion of data from
multiple sensors and 3D Reconstruction. He has supervised several MSc dissertations
in these areas, co-supervises a PhD thesis in Interactive Data Visualization. He
is currently involved in the AcoustiCAVE project (PTDC/EEA-ELC/112137/2009)
that aims Auralisation Models and Applications in Virtual Reality Environments
and the Produtech PTI project (QREN 13851) where he is involved in developing
VR training tools to allow interaction with software simulations of real industrial
facilities. He was involved in the past years in the reviewing process of several HCI
conference such as ACM CHI and IFIP INTERACT.
- is an Assistant Professor at the University of Minho, where he leads the
Ubicomp research group. Rui José received his PhD in Computer Science from
Lancaster University in 2001. His research interests are in ubiquitous systems in
general and particularly on the design and development of ubiquitous information
services that are situated within particular physical and social settings. In recent
years, he has been focusing on public digital displays and how they can be
transformed into a new open communication medium for public and semi-public
spaces. He has been PI or co-PI in multiple international research projects (FP7,
FET-OPEN, Portugal/CMU partnership) and also national projects (QREN, FCT).
Rui José is a member of ACM and its SIGCHI. Rui José has been part of
several program committees, such as the International Conference on Indoor
Positioning and Navigation (IPIN); the International Conference on Advances
in Computer Entertainment Technology (ACE), the International Symposium in
Ambient Intelligence (ISAmI), the International Workshop on Ambient Assisted
Living (IWAAL-2011), the International Conference on Intelligent Environments
(IE), the International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile
Devices and Services (MobileHCI), the Workshop on Pervasive Advertising, the
International Symposium on Ubiquitous Computing and Ambient Intelligence
(UCAmI’11), and the International Symposium on Pervasive Displays (PerDis). Rui
José was the main promoter of the course on Ambient Intelligence and Ubiquitous
Computing that took place in previous editions of MAP-i.
Beatriz Sousa Santos
- is an Associate Professor with the Department of Electronics
Telecommunications and Informatics/University of Aveiro where she has tough
several HCI and Visualization courses at graduate and postgraduate level. She
obtained “Agregação” in Human-Computer Interfaces. Her main research interests
are within Interactive Data and Information Visualization, Virtual Reality and
Medical Imaging. She has supervised or co-supervised five PhD theses and about
twenty MSc theses. She has integrated the Program Committees of about 30
Recent Publications by the Team
- J.C. Campos, G. Doherty and M.D. Harrison (2014) Analysing interactive devices
based on information resource constraints. International Journal of Human-Computer
Studies, 72(3):284-297, March.
- P. Dias, T. Sousa, J. Parracho, I. Cardoso, A. Monteiro, B. Sousa Santos (2014)
Student Projects Involving Novel Interaction with Large Displays. IEEE Computer
Graphics and Applications 34(2): 80-86, Mar.-Apr.
- Goncalves V., Dias P., Fontoura M.J., Moura R., Sousa Santos B. (2014) Investigating
Landfill Contamination by Visualizing Geophysical Data. IEEE Computer Graphics
and Applications, 34(1): 16-21, Jan/Feb.
- M.D. Harrison, J.C. Campos and P. Masci (2013) Reusing models and properties
in the analysis of similar interactive devices. Innovations in Systems and Software
Engineering. April. (doi: 10.1007/s11334-013-0201-3)
- R. José, H. Pinto, B. Silva, A. Melro (2013) Pins and Posters: Paradigms for Content
Publication on Situated Displays. IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications 33(2):
- Mendonça C., Campos G., Dias P., Vieira J., Ferreira J., Santos J.A. ”On the
Improvement of Auditory Accuracy with Non-Individualized HRTF-based Sounds”.
Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, vol. 60, no. 10, October 2012.
- J.L. Silva, J.C. Campos and M.D Harrison (2014) Prototyping and Analysing
Ubiquitous Computing Environments using Multiple Layers. International Journal
of Human-Computer Studies, 72(5):488-506, May.
- H. Rodrigues, R. José (2014) System Implications of Context-Driven Interaction in
Smart Environments. Interacting with Computers 26(2): 105-117.
- B. Sousa Santos; P. Dias; P. Santos and C. Ferreira (2014) Comparing two input
devices for virtual walkthroughs using a Head Mounted Display (HMD) ”, Proc.
SPIE 9012, The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality 2014.
- C. Taivan, R. José, B. Silva, I. Elhart, J. Cardoso (2013) Design Considerations
for Application Selection and Control in Multi-user Public Displays. J. UCS 19(17):
Recent Projects by the Team
- PD-NET – Towards Future Pervasive Display Networks (FET-OPEN,
- MobiPag – Iniciativa Nacional para Pagamentos Móveis (QREN, 09/2010-12/2012)
- SUM – Sensing and Understanding human Motion dynamics (FCT, 01/2011-12/2012)
- PRODUTECH-PTI: new process and technologies for the production industry
(QREN, Started 2011 - 3 years)
- AcousticAVE: Auralisation Models and Applications in Virtual Reality
Environments. (FCT, Started 2011 - 3 years)
- APEX - Agile Prototyping for user EXperience (FCT, started 01/02/2011 - 3.5 year)
- PBGT - Pattern Based GUI Testing (FCT, started 01/04/2012 - 3 years)
- Languages and Tools for Critical Real Time Systems (ON.2, started 01/01/2013 -