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Habilitation à diriger des recherches

Interaction et connaissance : construction d'une expérience dans le monde virtuel

Abstract : The general area of our research is ‘virtual reality'. This discipline, which communicates with other branches of science, aims to support the creation of virtual environments for human use. It is concerned with their modelling, that is to say the development of simulation models permitting to ‘give life' to virtual objects and beings represented within virtual environments. Further, it studies the interfaces between reality and virtuality, the motor and sensorial interfaces that give the user a perception of his actions. In our work, the objective is to understand how human experience can be at once reinforced, capitalized and re-exploited in a virtual environment. We are particularly interested in activities centred on training, design and collaboration for which on one hand knowledge engineering permits a pertinent level of abstraction and on the other hand virtual reality offers modes of interaction with sensory feedback which are beneficial for the users involved (trainers, students, designers, remote workers, etc.). We are particularly interested in informed virtual environments (EVI), furnished with databases within which it is possible to interact and generate behaviour based on interpretation of static or dynamic representations. Such EVI are powerful tools for system evolution with users use, but can also imply user evolution with system use. An ‘enactive' approach to cognition or ‘enaction' inspires our work with the concept of ‘action guided by perception'. This notion originates from the reflections of Francisco Varela, a neurobiologist who, following his work with Maturana in Chile, sought an alternative to computationalism and connectionism as approaches to understanding cognition. Varela's attempt to introduce concepts from the biological cognitive sciences and his research in neuroscience lead to a concept of ‘embodied cognition'. In this vast region of investigation, we have chosen to focus on a single area: the relationship between interaction and knowledge within informed virtual environments. The corporal and intellectual experiences facilitated by virtual reality are intimately linked with phenomenology and it is this interpretation which has lead us to structure our outlook: - on one hand, how can knowledge be formed from a user's interaction with objects in a virtual environment, his independent exploration and his unique perception of the system? In this case, we investigate the user as the architect of knowledge at the centre of his own activity. As knowledge is created, he can share it via evolved collaborative systems. - on the other hand, how can knowledge represented within the environment – accessible by the user or exploited by the system – orient and guide the user's interaction in the virtual environment? Here, we investigate models of virtual environments in which interaction is increasingly complex, as represented knowledge becomes ‘understood and exploited' within the environment. In our work, we seek generic and re-useable findings. With a strong link between virtual reality and knowledge engineering, our research is oriented by the cognitive sciences. Our approach mixes technology and theory, and thereby promotes the emergence of new concepts, models and methods. We have developed numerous models and information environments for application in design, training and communication.
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Habilitation à diriger des recherches
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Submitted on : Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 5:30:39 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-00549343, version 1



Indira Mouttapa Thouvenin. Interaction et connaissance : construction d'une expérience dans le monde virtuel. Interface homme-machine [cs.HC]. Université de Technologie de Compiègne, 2009. ⟨tel-00549343⟩



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