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NOMOS Project

2020-2021, Université Catholique de Louvain, Université Polytechnique Hauts de France, Université Côte d'Azur
For more information e-mail: contactNomos

The notion of territoriality is defined in behavioural psychology as the set of behaviours and cognitions mobilized by an organism or a group of people based on the perceived property of physical space. Considering that many individuals are users of multiple devices and software and hardware platforms (e.g., a smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop, tabletop, wall display), this notion holds promise for determining the optimal set of interaction surfaces (e.g., the input and/or output screens of these devices) and their computational resources for such a group of users. This set can vary according to many parameters, derived from :

  • the application domains: what are the data specific to an application domain (e.g. road traffic) and the constraints imposed on that domain ;
  • the tasks to be performed: what are the low-level actions (e.g., create, delete, modify, search) and high-level tasks (e.g., introduce a vehicle onto a road network) that need to be performed on this data in order to achieve the objective related to these tasks ;
  • the users: who are responsible for carrying out these tasks according to the roles, possibly changing over time, that they play within the group ;
  • software and hardware devices and platforms: what hardware (e.g. from smartphone to large wall screen) and software (e.g. what operating systems, what data exchange protocols are planned);
  • the physical environment in which the users of the group are immersed in order to carry out their interactive tasks by exploiting the devices at their disposal.

For example, let consider a group of working people standing around an interactive table, each with a mobile device. All of them must have their notion of territoriality concretized according to these parameters and optimized throughout the interaction between the group members. If a person in this group assumes a presentation role on a separate, potentially shared screen, that person's role changes and the use of the interaction surfaces must vary according to these parameters in order to always offer users the best possible interaction, the best possible task accomplishment, the best possible user experience.

An IT development method generally rests on three pillars:

  1. One or more models for describing concepts in a domain at a level of abstraction and comprehension that is higher than that of a programming language (e.g., Java) or markup language (e.g., HTML5). Each model must have its semantics, syntax, and style rigorously defined: semantics defines the meaning given to each concept and the relationships between them; syntax defines the language for making this description, these specifications, and the notation, textual and/or graphical, associated with it; and style defines the rules for any representation of this notation, whether textual and/or graphical.
  2. An approach structured in steps allowing to exploit the model(s) previously defined in order to achieve all or part of an interactive computer application. This approach must be defined in steps which are themselves recursively broken down into sub-steps.
  3. A software environment to support the definition and application of this method in order to optimize the work of analysts, designers and programmers.

Applied to the notion of territoriality, the central objective of this project is to invent and define a method for the development of UI of interactive computer applications that explicitly takes into account territoriality in order to optimize the experience of a group's users. Three scientific objectives correspond to this central definition objective:

  • SO1: definition of reference models
  • SO2 : defining a structured approach
  • SO3 : definition of a software environment to support this approach

Once the development method has been defined, it will have to be applied by defining a methodological guide to be instantiated for each case study to be considered. This corresponds to the following scientific objective:

  • SO4 : application of the UI development method based on territoriality to three case studies from three different application domains
After having applied this method to the three case studies, the validity of the results obtained will be tested on the basis of experience in order to identify and guarantee the positive impact of this method on the user experience of the members of a group in a situation of task accomplishment. This corresponds to the following scientific objective
  • SO5 : validation the method by experimentation and generalisation.