Call: Workshop on Emotional and Empathic Agents at AAMAS 2012


at AAMAS 2012
June 4-8, 2012, Valencia, Spain

[apologies for cross-postings, please distribute]

Workshop Organizers:

João Dias (INESC-ID and Instituto Superior Técnico, PT)
Janneke van der Zwaan (Delft University of Technology, NL)
Jason Tsai (University of Southern California, USA)

Senior Steering Committee:

Ana Paiva (PT)
Catholijn Jonker (NL)
Stacy Marsella (USA)
Virginia Dignum (NL)


The main goal of this workshop is to bring together researchers from different disciplines to discuss the creation of what we call “empathic agents”. Empathy has been associated with the processes that make a person to have “feelings that are more congruent with another’s situation than with his own situation”. Humans, when interacting with virtual agents or robots can be led to feel empathy, and experience a diverse set of emotional reactions. On the other hand, agents and robots can in a certain, perhaps limited way, also show certain emotions in reaction to human emotions, thus seemingly expressing empathy towards other agents and towards humans. Further, agents interacting in social simulation scenarios may react to the other agents in a way that is more congruent with the other’s. Thus, by seeking inspiration in empathic relations established between humans and between humans and animals, in this workshop we expect to explore these dimensions of empathic agents.

This workshop is multidisciplinary in nature. We expect to involve researchers who are not only interesting in studying intelligent virtual agents, social simulation and social robotics, but also those interested in empathy, cognition, ethology, emotions, human interactions, computer graphics, human-robots interaction and human/computer interaction.

Topics of Interest:

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Models of empathy
  • Empathy for rational agents
  • Architectures for empathic agents and robots
  • Emotional contagion
  • Emotional interactions and regulation with agents
  • Emotion modeling for empathic agents and robots
  • User modeling for empathic agents and robots
  • Social robots and social agents and empathy
  • Inter-agent communication and empathy
  • Expression of virtual agents for empathic interactions
  • Empathy and facial expressions in virtual agents
  • Empathic synthetic speech for virtual agents
  • Applications to health and social education
  • Interactive storytelling and empathy
  • Entertainment and education applications
  • Emotional and empathic agents in video games
  • Empathy and long term interactions with virtual agents and robots
  • Evaluating empathy in agents and robots
  • Evaluating human empathic reactions to artificial agents and robots

Important Dates:

Paper submission:  February 28, 2012
Acceptance notification:  March 27, 2012
Camera ready:  April 10, 2012
Uploading of workshop papers to website:  May 1, 2012
Workshop:  June 4-5, 2012 (provisory date)


Researchers are invited to submit papers for the workshop focusing the topics of interest of the workshop stating clearly how they can contribute to the themes proposed. Papers should be no longer than 8 pages and must use the AAMAS format ( All papers will be reviewed by at least two members of the program committee in a single-blind review process. At least one author of each accepted paper is required to register for the workshop.

Papers should be submitted through Easychair in pdf format:

Program Committee:

Please check the program committee members at


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