Laboratory of Informatics of Grenoble Engineering Human-Computer Interaction Research Group

Engineering Human-Computer Interaction
Research Group

Coupling Interaction Resources in Ambient Spaces: There is More than Meets the Eye

In 1rst Conf. Engineering Interactive Systems (EIS 2007). pages 558-578. 2007.

Nicolas Barralon, Joëlle Coutaz

10th Conference on Engineering Human Computer Interaction (EHCI 2007) joint with 14th Conference on Design Specification and Verification of Interactive Systems (DSVIS 2007), Spinger, Salamanca


Coupling is the action of binding two entities so that they can operate together to provide new functions. In this article, we propose a formal definition for coupling and present two complementary conceptual tools to reason about coupling interaction resources. The first tool is a graph theoretic and algebraic notation that can be used to identify the consequents of causal couplings so that the side-effects of the creation of a coupling can be analyzed in a formal and systematic way. The second tool formulates the problem of coupling using an 8 state automaton that models the life cycle of a coupling and provides designers with a structure to verify that usability properties have been satisfied for each state. We conclude with the concept of meta-UI, an overarching interactive system that shows that coupling is only one aspect of a larger problem space.