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Interactive Digital Systems

Code: MM0027     Acronym: SDI

Classification Keyword
OFICIAL Communication Technology
OFICIAL Music Technology

Instance: 2017/2018 - 1S

Active? Yes
Web Page: https://sites.google.com/a/gcloud.fe.up.pt/sdi/
Responsible unit: Department of Informatics Engineering
Course/CS Responsible: Master in Multimedia

Cycles of Study/Courses

Acronym No. of Students Study Plan Curricular Years Credits UCN Credits ECTS Contact hours Total Time
MM 37 Syllabus 1 - 6 45 162

Teaching - Hours

Recitations: 3,00
Type Teacher Classes Hour
Recitations Totals 1 3,00
Rui Luis Nogueira Penha 3,00

Teaching language

Suitable for English-speaking students


1) Theoretical discussion about the concept of interactivity and its application in digital systems.

2) Develop knowledge about the design and implementation of interactive digital systems (IDSs).

3) Develop knowledge about interface design and digital information mapping.

4) Work with various interactive technologies, informed by the student's expertise field.

Learning outcomes and competences

After successfully finishing this class, the student will be able to:
1) Understand the concept of interactivity and its applications in digital systems.
2) Know the main platforms and techniques of digital interactive systems.
3) Develop digital interactive systems.
4) Use their previous knowledge and professional experience in the development of digital interactive systems within a multidisciplinary collaborative environment.

Working method



1) What is interaction? A detailed analysis of the various concepts of interaction in the digital realm.
a) historical background;
b) perception, memory and cognition;
c) serendipity and stochastic processes in the simulation of interactivity.

2) Digital Interactive Systems:
a) interactive installations;
b) interactive music;
c) interactive dance;
d) interactive cinema.

3) Technological platforms of interactive digital systems:
a) Max/MSP and Pure Data;
b) Processing and openFrameworks;
c) Arduino;
d) MIDI and OSC.

4) Interfaces for acquiring, mapping and acting upon data in digital interactive systems:
a) computer audition;
b) computer vision;
c) sensors.

5) Practical applications of interactive digital systems.

Mandatory literature

Joshua Noble; Programming Interactivity: A Designer's Guide to Processing, Arduino and openFrameworks, O'Reilly, 2009
Bill Moggridge; Designing interactions , MIT Press, 2006
Daniel Shiffman; The Nature of Code, Self, 2012 (http://natureofcode.com)

Complementary Bibliography

Robert Rowe; Machine Musicianship, MIT Press, 2001
Todd Winkler; Composing Interactive Music: Techniques and Ideas Using Max, MIT Press, 1998
Various; A Touch of Code, Gestalten, 2011
Lazzeroni, C. (ed.); Generative Design, Princeton Architectural Press, 2012

Teaching methods and learning activities

This course unit is composed by comprehensive seminars and sessions where practical exercises related to the mentioned technologies are carried out.
These practical exercises are developed further by the students outside contact hours and contribute with 40% of the final grade.
The final group assignment, which contributes with 60% of the final grade, is the planning and implementation of a digital interactive system such as, e.g., an interactive installation.




Technological sciences > Technology > Interface technology > Intelligent interfaces

Evaluation Type

Distributed evaluation without final exam

Assessment Components

Designation Weight (%)
Participação presencial 40,00
Trabalho laboratorial 60,00
Total: 100,00

Amount of time allocated to each course unit

Designation Time (hours)
Estudo autónomo 50,00
Frequência das aulas 45,00
Trabalho laboratorial 70,00
Total: 165,00

Calculation formula of final grade

Evaluation Formula: 0,4 * pt + 0,6 * tf
pt - assignments carried out during the semester;
tf - final group assignment.

At the end of semester, all the students must submit, via email, a justified assessment of their peers and their own contribution to the group work. The final assignment evaluation will reflect this self- and hetero-evaluation.

Classification improvement

Substantial improvement of the final assignment or presentation of another assignment previously approved by the professor.


Classes will be taught in English if there is foreign students or if it is deemed necessary (e.g. presentations given by foreign professors). Students can either present their assignments in Portuguese or in English.

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