Call: Special issue on Affective Interaction in Natural Environments – ACM Transactions on Interactive Intelligent Systems (TiiS)

1st Call for Papers

Special issue on Affective Interaction in Natural Environments
ACM Transactions on Interactive Intelligent Systems (TiiS)

A vital requirement for social robots, virtual agents, and human-centered multimodal interfaces is the ability to infer the affective and mental states of humans and provide appropriate, timely output during sustained social interactions. Examples include ensuring that the user is interested in maintaining the interaction or providing suitable empathic responses through the display of facial expressions, gestures, or generation of speech.

This special issue will cover computational techniques for the recognition and interpretation of human multimodal verbal and non-verbal behavior, models of mentalizing and empathizing for interaction, and multimedia techniques for the synthesis of believable social behavior supporting human-agent and human-robot interaction.

A key aim of the special issue is the identification and investigation of important open issues in real-time, affect-aware applications “in the wild” and especially in embodied interaction, i.e., with robots and embodied conversational agents. We encourage the submission of studies that provide new insights into the use of multimodal and multimedia techniques for enabling interaction between humans, robots, and virtual agents in naturalistic settings.

The special issue especially welcomes submission of contributions that focus on innovative intelligent technology and the way it is successfully integrated in the interaction cycle between users and virtual agents and robots, in line with the binocular view encouraged by TiiS (

Submissions can come from a variety of research areas, including naturalistic human-robot and human-computer interaction, and multimedia human-computer interaction. The following categories cover most of the relevant topics, but they are not exhaustive. In case of doubt about the relevance of your topic, please contact the guest editors.

Focus on Recognition

  • Multimodal human affect and social behavior recognition, including: 
    • Facial expressions
    • Body language
    • Speech
    • Physiological signals
    • Other modalities
  • Cognitive and affective “mentalizing”
  • Recognition of human behavior for implicit tagging

Focus on Generation

  • Multimedia expression generation in robots and virtual agents, including:
    • Gaze
    • Gestures
    • Facial expressions
    • Speech
    • Other modalities

Focus on Interaction 

  • Emotion and cognitive state representation
  • Perception-action loops in agents/robots
  • Visual attention / user engagement with robots and embodied conversational agents
  • Social context awareness and adaptation
  • Applications of methods and results in the above areas to interactive games, robots and virtual agents


  • Multimodal corpora for training recognition systems
  • Multimodal corpora for modeling the behavior of agents and robots

Guest editors

Ginevra Castellano, Queen Mary University of London, UK
Kostas Karpouzis, National Technical University of Athens, Greece
Jean-Claude Martin, LIMSI-CNRS, France
Louis-Philippe Morency, University of Southern California, USA
Christopher Peters, Coventry University, UK
Laurel Riek, University of Cambridge, UK 


Important dates

  • By December 6th, 2010: Submission of manuscripts
  • By March 18th, 2011: Notification about decisions on initial submissions
  • By June 17th, 2011: Submission of revised manuscripts
  • By September 2nd, 2011: Notification about decisions on revised manuscripts
  • By September 23rd, 2011: Submission of manuscripts with final minor changes
  • October, 2011: Publication of the special issue on the TiiS website, in the ACM Digital Library, and (shortly afterward) as a printed issue

How to submit

Manuscripts will be submitted via the ScholarOne Manuscripts site of ACM TiiS. The web address and all other necessary information will be found in the instructions for authors on the TiiS website (

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