Real-Time Coordination and Distributed Interaction Systems Group (ReAct)


This interdisciplinary research group created and lead by Dr. Denis Gillet (MER) aims at handling real-time coordination and distributed interaction challenges using systems engineering methodologies. The underlying approach is to exploit in an integrated manner the dynamical couplings that exist between users, distributed physical systems, as well as information systems (including network) to improve the quality of services and quality of experience. The React Group is affiliated with the EPFL Transportation Center.

The two main research topics currently investigated in the Real-Time Coordination and Distributed Interaction Systems (React) Group are Optimal Coordination Systems and Web-based Interaction Systems.

The current focus in Optimal Coordination Systems is on metrics and structures definition for the real-time operation of distributed devices where the dynamics matters, with application to autonomous transportation systems, insulin delivery for the treatment of diabetes, as well as teleoperation and supervision of mechatronic systems. The underlying academic disciplines are Distributed Control, Hierarchical Control, and Telematics.

The current focus in Web-based Interaction Systems is on personal learning environments and contextual recommender systems where utility, usability and appropriation matter, with application to on-line engineering education and knowledge management. The underlying academic disciplines are Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Engineering Education Research, and Technology Enhanced Learning (e-Learning).

related publications related research projects related students projects

Ongoing Projects


Population-Based Modeling and Semi-Autonomous Insulin Delivery for the Treatment of Diabetes

Denis GilletGrégory FrançoisAlain Bock

Keywords : Diabetes, Insulin Delivery, Modeling, Population-based Estimation, Stochastic Modeling, Optimal Control, Predictive Control

This project aims at developing a model-based control system to ease the treatment of patients with Type 1 diabetes. Different model types and parameters estimation strategies are considered and evaluated. The models account for meal types, physical activities, stress, as well as other patients’ conditions. These models are validated using clinical data. It is also envisioned to exploit the models for semi-autonomous insulin delivery with wearable optimal or predictive control devices.



Responsive Open Learning Environments (ROLE)

Denis GilletChristophe Salzmann, Maryam Najafian, Sandy El Helou, Evgeny Bogdanov, Na Li, Stéphane Sire

Keywords : Personal Learning Environments, Social Software, Web 2.0 Service Mashup, Human Computer Interaction

Responsive Open Learning Environments ROLE’s cross-disciplinary innovations will deliver and test prototypes of highly responsive Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) environments, offering breakthrough levels of effectiveness, flexibility, user-control and mass-individualisation. Our work also advances the state-of-the-art in human resource management; self-regulated and social learning; psycho-pedagogical theories of adaptive education and educational psychology; service composition and orchestration; and the use of ICT in lifelong learning. Significant benefits arise for learners, their communities, employers, TEL developers and society. ROLE offers adaptivity and personalization in terms of (1) content and navigation and (2) the entire learning environment and its functionalities. This empowers each user to generate new tools and functions according to their needs, and can help them to establish a livelier and personally more meaningful learning context and learning experience.


The STELLAR Network of Excellence

Denis GilletSandy El Helou

Keywords : Technology Enhanced learning, Engineering Education Research

STELLAR represents the effort of the leading institutions and projects in European Technology-Enhanced Learning (TEL) to unify our diverse community. This Network of Excellence is motivated by the need for European research on TEL to build upon, synergize and extend the valuable work we have started by significantly building capacity in TEL research within Europe, which is required to allow the European Union to achieve its goals via the Bologna Agreement and the execution of the Lisbon Agenda. STELLAR will move beyond the earlier networks by setting a new and critical foresight agenda for Technology Enhanced Learning. The Network will be executed via a series of integration instruments designed to increase the research capacity of European TEL at all levels. STELLAR’s instruments will act upon the backbone of an interlocking set of 3 Grand Research Challenge actions, themed as Connecting People, Orchestration and Context.


Hierarchical Traffic Coordination of Automated Guided Vehicles

Denis Gillet,Ms. Laleh Makarem, Hajir Roozbehani, Sylvain Rudaz

Keywords : Intelligent Transportation Systems, Autonomous Agents, Automated Guided Vehicles

Electric Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) operating on roads have a high potential for reducing CO2 emissions and traffic congestion in intermodality areas. However and despite years of research and development, actual deployment is still limited. In this project innovative solutions are investigated for overcoming limiting factors, especially those related to platooning, overtaking, crossing, and energy supply. Advanced maneuvering solutions relying on hierarchical control structures and dynamical optimization will lead to an increase in vehicle density and speed.


6th sense

Denis Gillet, Christophe Salzmann, Damien Perritaz

Keywords : Quality of Perception; Wearable Systems; Augmented reality; Adaptation;

The 6th sense project aims at investigating advanced context-aware and adaptive end-to-end technologies to develop next-generation wearable supervision systems for industrial plant operators. It is carried out in collaboration with the University of Fribourg and the University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland. The 6th sense project is supported by the Hasler Foundation in the context of its man-machine interaction research program. [More]



Past Projects



Denis Gillet, Philippe Müllhaupt, Yvan Michellod

Keywords : Exoplanets; Differential Delay Lines

The Automatic Control Laboratory and the Robotic Systems Laboratory colaborate with the Geneva Observatory in the framework of the PRIMA ESO project to develop a Differential Delay Line for the PRIMA/VLTI facility at ESO. The goal of this new instrument is to contribute to speed up the implementation of this astrometric facility with respect to ESO’s current plan and to enable an early start of high-precision astrometric observations for extra-solar planets detection. [More]




Denis GilletChristophe Salzmann, Sandy El Helou, Evgeny Bogdanov,

Keywords : Enhanced Learning; Communities of Practice

Palette is an ‘Integrated Project’ financed by the IST (Information Society Technology) programme of the European commission dealing with knowledge sharing and appropriation within communities of practice.

Collaborative learning has an increased potential when it occurs in the context of a Community of Practice (CoP). Such communities have several components that distinguish them from formal organisations and learning contexts: it is recognised that they can be developed through the uses of network technologies. However, despite the rapidly increasing potential of these technologies (including web-based platforms, wireless communications, mobile devices and extensive use of multimedia contents), a lot of progress remains to be done in order to support individual learning process, as well as knowledge and identity building in them. The goal of Palette is to elaborate, implement and promote the use of an extensible set of interoperable services that appropriately address the needs of these communities.



Denis Gillet, Christophe Salzmann, Yassin Rekik

Keywords : Enhanced Learning; Interaction; Internet

PROLEARN is a ‘Network of Excellence’ financed by the IST (Information Society Technology) programme of the European commission dealing with technology enhanced professional learning.
The ProLEARN mission is to bring together the most important research groups in the area of professional learning and training, as well as other key organisations and industrial partners, thus bridging the currently existing gap between research and education at universities and similar organisations and training and continuous education that is provided for and within companies.


Real-time Interaction over the Internet

Christophe Salzmann, Denis Gillet

Keywords : Interaction; network; adaptation; end-to-end; remote experimentation; Internet

Real-time Interaction over the Internet enables users to efficiently interact with physical equipment at a distance. An efficient interaction provides the remote user with the best possible feedback such that the drawbacks inherent to the distance are minimized and with sufficient information to reproduce the state of the distant equipment and its operational conditions. [More]



Denis Gillet, Christophe Salzmann, Yassin Rekik, Anh Vu Nguyen Ngoc, Karim Zeramdini, Frederic Geoffroy, Gamaliel Amaudruz

Keywords : Interaction; network; adaptation; end-to-end; remote experimentation; Internet

The eMersion project aims at promoting a pedagogical trial-and-error paradigm. It relies on new opportunities for engineering trainees to carry out extensive experimentation in their education curriculum based on a Web environment for remote experimentations.


Hierarchical Optimization of Solar Thermal Systems Using Online Weather Forecasts

Denis Gillet, Thierry Prud’homme

Keywords : Optimal Control, Hybrid Systems, Solar Thermal Systems, Hot Water Production, Heating Systems, Weather Forecasts

In this project, systems that use solar energy to provide the users with hot water are considered. An auxiliary heater is used when the solar energy is not able to meet the users’ requirements. The goal in this projects is to maximise the part of solar energy in final energy balances at the same time maximising the comfort. This is described by an optimal control problem and is solved using dynamic models of heat exchangers and the building. These models have been developed and the parameters have been identified on two pilot plants located at the Ecole d’ingenieurs d’Yverdon (EIVD). The one-day weather forecasts, provided on-line by the Swiss Meteorological Institute (SMI), are also used. Two systems are under investigation in this project. The first one is a solar domestic hot water system. The second one is called a combi-system, which provides the users with hot water in addition to heating the building.