Contributing to the four smart pillars of Luxembourg and LIST strategy, i.e., manufacturing, finance, cities, and space socio-economic challenges, the Human Dynamics in Cognitive Environments unit (HDCE), within the IT for Innovative Services (ITIS) department, develops applied research and innovation activities in the field of Human-Centred Computing. It targets primarily citizens, workers, and prosumers by providing them technologies that improve their health and well-being, skills, decisional empowerment, as well as social and cultural inclusion, when embedded in physical spaces and interacting with physical objects in cities, factories, industries and service economy. The unit segments its market strategy along different spaces spanning from housing and offices, commercial areas, care and well-being infrastructures, manufactures and industrial premises, public and outdoor areas, to culture and entertainment buildings.
Adopting a multidisciplinary approach at the cross-road of human sciences, computer sciences and engineering, by gathering psychologists, management and organisation science specialists together with computer and information scientists, natural scientists, as well as IT and electronics engineers, the unit studies Cyber-Physical Social Systems (CPSS) formed by human interacting with objects and embedded in physical spaces with a strong stance on Ambient Intelligence (AmI) technological paradigm, bridging pervasive and ubiquitous machine and human cognition through seamless natural interaction. Following a strong systemic approach, it particularly concentrates on many-body systems with multiple interconnected users, objects and spaces from three major research standpoints:
1. Context-aware user adaptation, dynamics of knowledge representation and crowd computing (with both numerical and symbolic Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Reasoning, coordination, optimisation and data analytics techniques),
2. Physically embedded technology-based learning and assessment of individual and collective competencies (with Natural-Language Processing, automatic generation of questions, tests, feed-forwards and feed-backs for summative and formative evaluation, sensor-based learner and worker analytics, with a focus on 21st century skills such as collaborative complex problem solving and creativity and on advanced technical skills in interaction with machines),
3. Multi-User Natural Interaction, collaborative design and decision-making, seamless interaction with systems of smart connected objects and physical spaces (with Human-Centric Design of HCI, IoT, Natural User Interfaces such as AR/VR, tangible and touch interaction, gesture and emotion analysis, computer vision, voice, emotion, etc., all relevant AI and ML techniques, collaboration and cooperation processes).
Relying on an experimental scientific approach, the unit operates a cognitive environment lab equipped with making and rapid prototyping capabilities (digital fabrication, 3D-printing, electronics, etc.), a controlled experiment room with observation tools (IR and visible cameras, kinects, microphones, motion sensors, etc. and their respective analytics softwares, sensors embedded in objects, wearables, infrastructure), actuation and feed-back tools (ambient light and sound systems), interactive devices (AR/VR, touch screens, tangible tables, gesture-based interfaces, interactive objects..); and living labs that are developed in projects with technology providers and user partners.
The unit works with different types of companies and organizations including SMEs, major corporate groups, research centres, universities, professional associations, groups of companies, administrative bodies, etc., from a variety of sectors including transport and logistics, construction, IT, public sector, etc.
Current key partners: eSanté, Croix-Rouge luxembourgeoise, Focal Fondation, Open Assessment Technologies (OAT), ETS, Autodistribution, Raiffeisen, Le Foyer, among others, as well as many major universities worldwide.