Wafa Johal

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Contact Information

formerly Wafa BENKAOUAR

Office G118
Laboratoire d'Informatique de Grenoble (UMR 5217), Magma Team
Maison Jean Kuntzmann, 110 avenue de la Chimie
38400 Saint-Martin-d'Hères, France.
Phone: +33 4 76 51 46 22
Email: Wafa.Johal (at) imag.fr

Personal website:  http://wafa.johal.fr/


Research Interests

I am a PhD student at the Laboratory of Informatics of Grenoble (LIG) under the supervision of Sylvie Pesty of team MAGMA (Modélisation d’AGents autonomes en univers Multi-Agents) and Gaëlle Calvary, IIHM team (Ingénierie de l'Interaction Homme Machine). I am interested in improving acceptability of assistive robot by using social signals of communications. I am interested in social signal processing and expression by companion robots. I have worked on proxemics and recognition of social attitudes in human-robot interaction during my masters. For my PhD, I focus on expressivity of robots using facial and body expressions and personnalization using behaviour styles.

I am a third year PhD student working on the French ANR MOCA Project. Before my PhD, I did a 2 years research Master in Computer Sciences, specialized in robotics, vision and graphics. I received a B.S & B.A.  of computer sciences and mathematics applied to cognitive sciences. What I like the most in my PhD is that i can use both competences from computer sciences and cognitive sciences.

Short Biography

  • Master of Informatics in Grenoble : Graphics, Vision, Robotics. UJF - Grenoble 1
  • Undergraduate Studies in Mathematics, Computer Sciences and Cognitive Sciences. UPMF - Grenoble 2



  • ACVL : Ensimag - 2ème année; Cours/TD

  • InfoCPP : CPPG - 1ère année; TP Ocaml


International Conferences

Johal W., Calvary G., Pesty S.. Toward Companion Robots Behaving with Style. In Proceedings of the 2014 IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (ROMAN). Edinburgh.  
Johal W., Adam C., Fiorino H., Pesty, S., Duhaut D.. Acceptability of a companion robot for children in daily life situations. 5th IEEE Conference on Cognitive InfoCommunications. (CogInfoCom) Nov 2014. Vietri, Italy  
Johal W., Calvary G. and Pesty S.. A Robot with Style because you are Worth it!. In Proceeding of ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI'14) . Toronto. 2014. Extended Abstract \& Poster.  
Johal W., Dugdale J., Pesty S.. Modelling interactions in a mixed agent world. In Proceeding of 25th European Modeling and Simulation Symposium (EMSS). Athens, Greece, 23-25 Sept 2013  
Benkaouar (Johal) W., Vaufreydaz D.. Multi-sensors engagement detection with a robot companion in a home environment. Workshop on Assistance and Service Robotics in a Human Environment at IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS2012), Vilamoura, Algarve - Portugal, oct 2012.  

French Conferences

Johal W., Pesty, S., Calvary G., Des Styles pour une Personnalisation de l’Interaction Homme-Robot. Journées Nationales de la Robotique Interactive (JNRI). Nov. 2014. Toulouse, France  
Johal W., Pesty S. Calvary G., Les Styles pour la Plasticité des Robots Compagnons. Workshop Affect, Compagnon Artificiel, Interaction (WACAI) 2014. Rouen, France  
Adam C., Johal W., Ben-Farhat I., Jost C., Fiorono H., Pesty S. , Duhaut D.. Acceptabilité d'un robot compagnon dans des situations de la vie quotidienne. Deuxième conférence III - Intercompréhension de l'intraspécifique à l'interspécifique. Lorient, 30 Sept - 1Oct 2013  

Other Communications

Johal W., Pesty S., Calvary G.. Expressing Parenting Styles with Companion Robots. Workshop on Applications for Emotional Robots at Human-Robot Interaction conference (HRI’14) . Bielefeld. 2014  
Oral Presentation at Annual Research Team Meeting, June 2014, Grenoble  
Oral Presentation at WACAI, June 2014, Rouen  
Oral Presentation at JNRI, November 2014, Toulouse  

Master thesis

Wafa Benkaouar. Detection of non-verbal communication cues using multi-modal sensors : engagement detection. Master Thesis in Computer Sciences, under the supervision of Dominique Vaufreydaz, Team PRIMA - INRIA Rhônes-Alpes, Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble - France, june 2012.