Call: Interacting with Embodied Conversational Agents (special issue of JMUI)

Special Issue of the Journal on Multimodal User Interfaces:




Despite advances in enhancing the expressivity of embodied conversational agents (ECAs), communication with ECAs remains an unnatural experience due to an often encountered asymmetry in communication channels, in which user input modalities tend to be less sophisticated due to the limitation of input processing. This is becoming a limiting factor as virtual actors become an essential element of computer games, intelligent tutoring systems and new media such as Interactive Storytelling. Furthermore, user-agent communication should be properly situated in the context of the application at hand rather than isolated as a laboratory experiment. In addition, interaction with ECAs implicitly creates a social environment which requires mechanisms for recognizing the user’s affective, attentive and social cues. This special issue will provide the opportunity to present research on the integration of speech, vision and other non-verbal sensors into an ECA’s conversational model. We specifically welcome research taking place within realistic scenarios or applications (entertainment, tutoring systems, persuasive systems, Interactive Narrative).


  • Deadline for paper submission: 26th November 2010
    Please let us know if you should have problems to meet this deadline
  • Notification of acceptance: 10th January 2011
  • Camera-ready version of accepted papers: 25th February 2011
  • Publication date: April/May 2011

We invite submissions of research papers that consider at least one input channel to ECAs and address the following areas (but not limited to):

  • Integration of speech, vision and other sensor-based technologies in dialogue understanding for ECAs
  • Perception and interpretation of affective, social and attentive cues from users during human-agent dialogue
  • Perception-based models of grounding and turn-taking
  • Alignment and synchrony of perceptive and expressive behaviors in human-agent dialogue
  • Natural language dialogue with ECAs in augmented and mixed realities
  • Applications that emulate characteristics of human-agent dialogue, such as games and interactive storytelling
  • Empirical studies that explore the potential benefits of speech, vision and other sensor-based technologies for human-agent-communication


Submissions should be 8 to 12 pages long and must be written in English. Formatting instructions and templates are available on:

Authors should register and upload their submission on the following website:  During the submission process, please select “SI (Special Issue) – Interacting ECAs” as article type.

Authors are encouraged to send to: a brief email indicating their intention to participate as soon as possible, including their contact information and the topic they intend to address in their submissions.

The Journal on Multimodal User Interfaces is a publication of OpenInterface (
Editor in Chief: Jean-Claude Martin
Founding Editor: Benoit Macq
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