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AISB event Bulletin Item

CFP: Workshop - Affective-aware Virtual Agents and Social Robots (AFFINE)


Affective-aware Virtual Agents and Social Robots (AFFINE)

International Workshop part of the ICMI-MLMI 2009 Conference
Friday 6th November 2009, Boston MA, USA.

1st Call for Papers




A vital requirement for social robots and virtual agents is the ability to
infer the affective and mental states of humans, so as to be able to
engage in and behave appropriately during social interactions, for
example, to ensure the user is interested in maintaining the interaction
or to provide suitable empathic responses. One major component in such a
mentalizing capacity, comprised of both cognitive and affective strands,
is the interpretation of human behaviour from sensory input, which must
always be conducted in a timely manner. Researchers in multimodal
interfaces have been increasingly addressing the design of systems endowed
with this ability. Nevertheless, only a few attempts have been made
towards the development of virtual agents and robots capable of inferring
the user.s states in real-time and engaging in meaningful interaction
(e.g. towards a shared goal). This workshop will consider real-time
techniques for the recognition and interpretation of human verbal and
non-verbal behaviour for application in human-agent and human-robot
interaction frameworks.

Target audience and expected impact

This workshop follows the successful ICMI.2008 AFFINE workshop (AFFINE -
Affective Interaction in Natural Environments: Real-time affect analysis
and interpretation for virtual agents and robots). An outcome of this past
workshop is a special issue of the Springer Journal on Multimodal User
Interfaces (JMUI) to appear in December 2009 (submission deadline April

This new 2009 workshop seeks to bring together those who work on the
real-time interpretation of user behavior to produce mid- or high-level
state descriptors, from basic emotions to more complex appraisals or
mental states (e.g. agreement and interest, or blends of several emotions)
with those who wish to apply this capacity as part of a 'social
perception' module or equivalent in social robots and virtual agent
interaction frameworks.

We expect the main outcome of this workshop to be the identification of
open issues in real-time, affect-aware applications .in the wild. and
especially in embodied interaction (robots). Issues such as natural and
multimodal interaction, estimation and adaption to context, context
dependent processing and related databases, HCI beyond emotion (cognition,
behavior, etc.) will be discussed in the framework of interacting with
other humans, embodied conversational agents and social robots.

In addition to that, researchers from diverse fields (signal processing
and pattern recognition, machine learning, cognition, HCI and robotics)
will benefit from mutual osmosis of ideas, concepts and developments in
the field.

A possible outcome of the workshop is a journal special issue to appear in
2010 (possibly by the Springer Journal on Multimodal User Interfaces


- Real-time recognition of affect (facial expressions, body language,
speech, physiological, etc.)
- Multimodal expression of emotion by virtual characters and robots during
affective interaction with users
- Perception-action loops in agents/robots
- Cognitive and affective mentalizing / theory of mind
- Visual attention / User engagement
- Theories of mind and emotion
- Emotion and cognitive state representation
- Context awareness and adaptation
- Natural HCI and HRI / multimodal and emotional corpora / emotion induction
- Social robotic platforms
- Evaluation of affective interaction and user-centred design
- Applications: interactive games, empathic interfaces, social robots, etc.


Jean-Claude Martin (LIMSI-CNRS, France)
John Murray (Adaptive Systems Research Group, Hertfordshire University, UK)
Ginevra Castellano (Queen Mary University of London, UK)
Kostas Karpouzis (ICCS / NTUA, Greece)
Christopher Peters (Coventry University, UK)


- Deadline for submission: 22nd August 2009
- Notification to authors: 15th September 2009
- Workshop : 6th Novembre 2009


Authors are invited to submit papers (abstract from 2 to 4 pages) in the
areas of interest of the workshop.

Submitted papers must be in PDF format and conform to the ACM
publication format (see http://www.acm.org/sigs/pubs/proceed/template.html).

Submitted papers need to be sent by email to MARTIN@LIMSI.FR &

Accepted papers will be presented at the workshop either by oral or
poster presentation and will appear in a CD of the workshop proceedings.

Additional information will be provided in the workshop's website

The AFFINE workshop is sponsored by:
- The Humaine Association (http://emotion-research.net/)
- The FEELIX GROWING project (http://www.feelix-growing.org/)
- The LIREC project (http://www.lirec.eu/)


If you have any questions or comments then please send an email to
martin@limsi.fr & ginevra@dcs.qmul.ac.uk