Achieving Affective Impact: Visual Emotive Communication in Lifelike Pedagogical Agents

In IJAIED 10 (3): "'Best of ITS 98' Special Issue "

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Abstract

Lifelike animated agents for knowledge-based learning environments can provide timely, customized advice to support learners' problem-solving activities. By drawing on a rich repertoire of emotive behaviors to exhibit contextually appropriate facial expressions and emotive gestures, these agents could exploit the visual channel to more effectively communicate with learners. To address these issues, this article proposes the emotive-kinesthetic behavior sequencing framework for dynamically sequencing lifelike pedagogical agents' full-body emotive expression. By exploiting a rich behavior space populated with emotive behaviors and structured by pedagogical speech act categories, a behavior sequencing engine operates in realtime to select and assemble contextually appropriate expressive behaviors. This framework has been implemented in a lifelike pedagogical agent, COSMO, who exhibits full-body emotive behaviors in response to learners' problem-solving activities.