“Finding out and formalizing the patterns of human-data interaction, user experiences and visual mining for the design and evaluation of  usable, yet secure and sustainable smart services and systems integrating the digital and physical worlds”

“Data/information and software technology (IST) is on the verge of another revolution, bigger that any time. Networked systems and embedded computers have the potential to change radically the way people interact with their environment, with each other’s, with systems and how systems interact also with each other. Networked systems are linking together a wide range of devices and sensors that will allow data to be collected, shared processed in unprecedented ways [Original Source: National Research Council Report (US), Embedded Everywhere, 2001]

The term “cyber-physical systems” (CPS) emerged in 2006, when it was coined by Helen Gill and the National Science Foundation in the United States. It has been defined differently; although it all about the frontier and seamless integration between the digital and physical worlds.  Applications of cyber-physical systems include smart grids, global environmental and disaster monitoring, medical and homeland security systems as well as autonomous transportation and automatic pilot avionics. These CPS are being facilitated by emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things, the OGC’s Sensor Web Enablement (SWE), which is a standard for making sensors and sensor data repositories accessible via the Web and the emerging Internet of Things (IoT).

As the CPS infrastructure improves, attention can turn to the innovative human-data interaction techniques and interactive services that are needed to monitor and control networked physical objects such as cars, or in the near future why not also with trees, plants, forests and animals? What would this dialogue look like and how would it take place? Human-cyber-physical interactions are very difficult to model and fundamentally different from human-computer interaction models developed so far. Designing and validating such interactions is particularly challenging. It requires also to understand and identify the patterns of data visualizations and the visual mining process as CPS is also being seen as big data-centric systems.

The HCI/Human Side of Cyber Physical Systems is a multidisciplinary research group including computer scientists, software and systems engineers as well as digital business innovators. The group investigates the human aspects, human factors and experiences in CPS and smart services as well as their integration into the service design, engineering and open innovation practices. Human aspects explore software engineering and human computer interaction (HCI) methods and tools from the perspective of those stakeholders involved in the development processes, either they are internal such individuals developers, teams, or external customers and final end-users. It is widely accepted that the people involved in software development processes deserve more attention than the processes or technologies themselves.

The HCI/Human Side of CPS investigates the three main design challenges of CPS with humans in the loop:

  • The need for a comprehensive understanding of the complete spectrum of the types of interaction modalities,
  • The need for extensions to system identification or other techniques to derive design models from human experiences, and
  • Most importantly, determining how to incorporate such models into the HCI design methodologies and the wider engineering practices, but also the engineering of the underlying human-data interactions, interactions between the physical and software components.