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Posts by Benny Liebold

Californication: HCII 2015 and Stanford

Best Paper Award at HCII 2015

Best Paper Award at HCII 2015

We had a busy July at Crossworlds with several of our colleagues travelling to LA to attend the HCI International Conference. During the conference, our colleagues presented a total of six papers. They covered a broad range of topics including the perception of virtual agents, game based learning, and spatial cognition in virtual environments. On top of that, our colleagues Daniel Pietschmann, Benny Liebold, Peter Ohler, and Georg Valtin received a best paper award in the Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality devision with their paper “Development of a media-independent Stereoscopic Ability Test to assess individual ability to process stereoscopic media“. Well done!

Before the conference, Daniel Pietschmann and Benny Liebold had the chance to visit the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab (VHIL) at two days, which is directed by Jeremy Bailenson. There, they shared experiences from their own VR research and talked VR tech—and of course they could try out the virtual environments that were used in local research projects.

 

Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction 2013, Geneva, Sept. 2–5

With the biannual conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction that aims at the intersection of research on human emotion and computational models of emotion, research on emotion both in humans and virtual entities found an important platform for interdisciplinary exchange. This year the 5th conference was held in Geneva, Switzerland, on September 2–5.

On Thursday, September 4, CrossWorlds fellow Benny Liebold gave a talk on “Multimodal emotion expression of virtual agents. Mimic and vocal emotion expressions and their effects on emotion recognition”. The talk addressed human recognition of emotion expressions of virtual agents. It was found that our ability to recognize emotional states from virtual agents is worse when virtual agents use unimodal expressions of emotions compared to multimodal expressions. Even more interestingly, unimodal expressions of emotions together with neutral nonverbal cues are recognized worse than isolated unimodal expressions of emotions. The latter might be a result of users perceiving the neutral expression of virtual agents as a relevant component of the virtual agent’s emotional state. Further results can be obtained from the conference proceedings, which are going to be indexed in IEEE Xplore.

A total number of 55 papers covered a vast area of research from psychological research in human emotions to computational models of emotional processes, such as empathy and automated emotion recognition. We thank the Computer Vision and Multimedia Laboratory and the Swiss Center of Affective Sciences from Geneva University, who did a great job in organizing the conference, putting together a great conference program including the very interesting keynote speakers.

 

M&C ’13 Workshop: Methodological Approaches to HCI

Designing interactive systems requires knowledge about actual interaction processes that evolve during HCI. Acquiring this knowledge, however, is a matter of an adequate methodological approach that enables researchers to answer specific questions in the respective contexts that frame the interaction between the user and interactive systems.

With the aim to discuss the adequacy of different methodological strategies for specific applications, CrossWorlds is going to organize a workshop at Mensch & Computer 2013 (M&C) about “Methodological Approaches to HCI”. The workshop will serve as a platform for focused discussions about current interdisciplinary research projects that aim to design or evaluate various interactive systems (computers, robots, virtual agents). We therefore encourage graduate and postgraduate students to submit an extended abstract concerning their current methodological issues in HCI research.

More Information on the schedule and submission deadline will follow in due time.

 

3rd International Symposium on Facial Analysis and Animation

The 3rd International Symposium on Facial Analysis and Animation (FAA) was held on September 21 at the Museum of Young Arts in Vienna. According to the organizing committee the FAA is the only international conference that solely focusses on the analysis of animation of faces. The field of participants ranged from social scientists who analyzed the perception of different animation techniques to companies that presented their newest tracking algorithms. Therefore the talks as well as the poster presentations gave a good overview of this very interesting field of research with multiple relations both to professional applications (e.g. entertainment industry) and interdisciplinary research.

One of the currently investigated research topics is performance driven animation, i.e. facial animation controlled by facial movements of human actors. Despite the fact that the state of development of the presented animations seems intriguingly spohisticated the research community aims at even more robust methods for both tracking and animating for professional applications. Another interesting topic are facial analysis and animation tools with live support that do not require professional 3D-tracking hardware but rely on consumer hardware like simple webcams (Image Metrics Live Driver) or the Microsoft Kinect (Face Shift) instead.

At the conference CrossWorlds made some interesting contacts to both professionals and researchers resulting in research collaborations with Image Metrics and intense information exchange with researchers from different backgrounds.