Section: Research Program

Numerical and algorithmic real-time gesture analysis

Whatever is the interface, user provides some curves, defined over time, to the application. The curves constitute a gesture (positional information, yet may also include pressure). Depending on the hardware input, such a gesture may be either continuous (e.g. data-glove), or not (e.g. multi-touch screens). User gesture can be multi-variate (several fingers captured at the same time, combined into a single gesture, possibly involving two hands, maybe more in the context of co-located collaboration), that we would like, at higher-level, to be structured in time from simple elements in order to create specific command combinations. One of the scientific foundations of the research project is an algorithmic and numerical study of gesture, which we classify into three points:

  • clustering, that takes into account intrinsic structure of gesture (multi-finger/multi-hand/multi-user aspects), as a lower-level treatment for further use of gesture by application;

  • recognition, that identifies some semantic from gesture, that can be further used for application control (as command input). We consider in this topic multi-finger gestures, two-handed gestures, gesture for collaboration, on which very few has been done so far to our knowledge. On the contrary, in the case of single gesture case (i.e. one single point moving over time in a continuous manner), numerous studies have been proposed in the current literature, and interestingly, are of interest in several communities: HMM [33], Dynamic Time Warping [35] are well-known methods for computer-vision community, and hand-writing recognition. In the computer graphics community, statistical classification using geometric descriptors has previously been used [31]; in the Human-Computer interaction community, some simple (and easy to implement) methods have been proposed, that provide a very good compromise between technical complexity and practical efficiency [34].

  • mapping to application, that studies how to link gesture inputs to application. This ranges from transfer function that is classically involved in pointing tasks [28], to the question to know how to link gesture analysis and recognition to the algorithmic of application content, with specific reference examples.

We ground our activity on the topic of numerical algorithm, expertise that has been previously achieved by team members in the physical simulation community (within which we think that aspects such as elastic deformation energies evaluation, simulation of rigid bodies composed of unstructured particles, constraint-based animation... will bring up interesting and novel insights within HCI community).