REACT Group – Interaction Systems


The interdisciplinary research carries out in the Research Group for Interaction Systems (REACT) tackles interaction challenges using systems engineering methodologies. The underlying approach is to exploit in an integrated manner the dynamical couplings that exist between users, devices and information systems to ease adoption and improve usability in distributed frameworks. Innovative domains of deployment are cyber physical systems, autonomous transportation systems, social media for digital education and knowledge management, as well as technologies for development and social action. The REACT Group is affiliated with the EPFL Transportation Center (TRACE), the Center for Learning Sciences (LEARN), and ASTROBOTS.

Investigations are carried out on advanced structures and algorithms for the real-time operation of distributed devices where dynamics matters, with application to intelligent transportation systems (intersection of connected automated vehicles at roundabout) and astrometry (coordination of optical fiber positioners). The underlying academic domains are optimal, predictive, and reactive control.

Investigations are also carried out on mobile and Web platforms where usability and adoption matter, with application to digital education, knowledge management, as well as capacity building for development and social action. The underlying academic domains are Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Engineering Education Research, and Technology Enhanced Learning (e-Learning).

React is affiliated with the EPFL doctoral programmes in Computer and Communication Sciences (EDIC), Electrical Engineering (EDEE), Robotics, Control, and Intelligent Systems (EDRS), as well as Digital Humanities (EDDH).


Ezequiel González Debada got the 1st Best Student Paper Award at the 2019 IEEE Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITSC 19) held in Auckland, New Zealand, October 27-30, 2019. It is the annual flagship conference of the IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Society.

Contributions of REACT on the collision-free positioning of astrobots are acknowledged on the EPFL news.

The Graasp nonprofit Association has been created on October 25th, 2019, to promote the open access digital education platforms developed at REACT.

Juan Carlos Farah has presented his vision regarding Open Data in Digital Education Platforms during the Swiss Open Science Kick- Off Forum on October 17, 2019,  at EPFL (video).

IEEE Std 1876 Working Group promoting the smart devices paradigm developed at EPFL by Christophe Salzmann and Denis Gillet has been selected as a recipient of the IEEE-SA Emerging Technology Award “For the development of IEEE 1876 – 2019 on networked smart learning objects for online laboratories, the first IEEE standard of its kind to recommend and guide its stakeholders for widespread development and use of online laboratories in support of science technology and engineering education.

Matin Macktoobian got the best paper award of the 15th Conference on Ph.D. Research in Microelectronics and Electronics (PRIME 2019), held in Lausanne, Switzerland for the joint REACT and LASTRO paper entitled “The Navigation of Robotic Fiber Positioners in SDSS-V Project: Design and Implementation”.

Juan Carlos Farah got the best paper award at the IEEE EDUCON 2019 conference in the area of “Innovation, Methods, Teaching and Learning Experiences in Engineering Education for a joint GO-GA contribution entitled “Promoting and Implementing Digital STEM Education at Secondary Schools in Africa”.

The Swiss EdTech Collider Association has been created on November 18, 2016, to promote solutions for Digital Education. Co-founders are Pierre Dillenbourg (Président), Denis Gillet (Vice-Président), Francesco Mondada (General Secretary) and Marcel Salathé (Treasurer).

Denis Gillet is the Deputy Coordinator of the H2020 Next-Lab Project supporting Next Generation Stakeholders and Next Level Ecosystem for ColLaborative Science Education with Online Labs (6.3M€).

Denis Gillet was interviewed by the RTS in “InterCités” about SpeakUp, the mobile app supporting digital interaction in large classrooms.

The React Group got the best paper award at the EC-TEL Conference 2016 for its contribution on Best paper award at EC-TEL 2016: Examining the effects of social media in co-located classrooms: A case study based on SpeakUp”, by María Jesús Rodríguez-Triana, Adrian Holzer, Luis P. Prieto, and Denis Gillet.

Denis Gillet was interviewed by the Swiss television about the ongoing work on autonomous and connected vehicles crossing at intersections (investigations carried out by Laleh Makrarem and Ezequiel Debada).

Feel free to try our release of our Graasp social media platform for collaborative learning and knowledge management.