Virtual Conversational Characters:
Applications, Methods, and Research Challenges

http://www.vhml.org/workshops/HF2002/
29th November, 2002
Melbourne, Australia

in conjunction with
HF2002 and OZCHI2002
http://www.iceaustralia.com/HF2002/


The goals of the VCC workshop are:

  • to bring together the growing VCC communities of Australia, Asia and New Zealand;
  • to provide a forum for demonstration and discussion of new VCC paradigms, applications and research;
  • to promote interaction between academic and industrial research;
  • to provide an opportunity to become part of a global network of VCC researchers and practitioners.

This workshop will bring both established and new researchers together to discuss the development, implementation and evaluation of VCC interface systems, the current VCC state-of-the-art and to create a vision for the future of VCC interface technology.

The origin of this workshop dates from a successful workshop on Talking Head Technology organised for the OZCHI 2001 conference. This was followed by a second held in Bruxelles in 2001 on the Virtual Human Markup Language - an XML based language for directing Virtual Humans and giving them emotions/gestures. A third workshop is to follow in Bologna in mid 2002 on Embodied conversational agents - let's specify and evaluate them! for AAMAS 2002.

The Workshop Organisers would welcome the submission of papers on substantial, original, and unpublished research on all aspects from the Major Topic areas. These include (but are not limited to)

  • VCC-user interaction paradigms.
  • Evaluation / case studies of VCCs as interfaces.
  • VCC interface applications - shop assistants, presentation agents for the WWW, email interfaces etc.
  • Factors which influence user acceptance and believability, i.e. the use of cartoon-like characters vs. photo-realism.
  • Conversational skills of VCCs - dialogue management and knowledge bases.
  • VCC directing and specification languages - controlling of emotions, speech intonation, facial and body behaviour.
  • VCC modelling / rendering (e.g. MPEG-4, AU, skin models, 2D/2D/3D, VRML etc.)
  • VCCs for Virtual Worlds and VR.
  • VCC interfaces on the Web.
  • Personality models for VCCs.
  • Text to Speech systems for VCCs.
  • Industry based VCC case studies.

The full day workshop will feature a mix of paper presentations, demonstrations, and discussion rounds. The presentations should cover one of the several academic or industrial themes of the workshop and should be oriented toward:

  • Description and/or evaluation of VCC interface systems with
    • Pointers, such as on-line demos or videos, to actual working examples that demonstrate their usage and practicality.
    • Pointers to evaluation results, eg, VCC's believability, engagement, affect.
  • Design decisions for VCC specifications or languages that control the VCC.
  • Practical knowledge from evaluation of robust academic or commercial systems. Discussing the link between the targeted audience and actual outcomes of the system.

We especially invite papers/presentations/demonstrations of industrial VCC research and/or commercial VCC systems.

We strongly encourage you to demonstrate your work and to provide URLs to permanent web sites that contain examples of your system. To give us time to organize the technical requirements, if you are to demonstrate your system, we must be notified before YYY. Contact us for details at: raytrace@vhml.org

The workshop will conclude with a panel discussion of:

  • Important issues raised within presentations,
  • A visionary glimpse of / plan for the future for VCCs.

At the end of the workshop, participants should have a broad understanding of the differing technologies involved in the production, development and directing of VCC interface systems and applications. They will have seen several VCC systems and will understand the problems associated with the technology. They will have contributed, through discussion, to the future development of VCC interfaces within the global context. They will also become part of a network of VCC researchers and practitioners.

IMPORTANT DATES

YYY - Deadline for paper submission
YYY - Notification of Acceptance / Rejection
YYY - Deadline for Web-ready paper
29th November - Workshop

SUBMISSION FORMAT AND PROCEDURE

Paper length should be 2-4 pages long (using 10pt, single space, all margins of 2cm) and should be accompanied as much as possible with URL's showing multimedia content (actual systems, screenshots, animations, conversation transcripts, speech output, any additional documentation etc) relevant to the work presented. Papers must be written in English.

The first page of your submission should include:

  • paper title,
  • author name(s) and affiliation,
  • complete addresses including email address and fax number,
  • keywords,
  • abstract.

A MS Word template is provided here. The file HF2002_vcc.doc is an example of how the submission should look as is HF2002_vcc.pdf.

Every paper submitted will be reviewed by at least 2 reviewers from the Program Committee.

Submissions of no more than 4 pages should be emailed to Andrew Marriott ( raytrace@vhml.org) in PS, PDF or Word format only by YYY.

CONTACT PERSON

Andrew MarriottWeb : http://www.computing.edu.au/~raytrace
School of ComputingEmail: raytrace@vhml.org
Curtin University of TechnologyTele : 618 9266 7675
Hayman Rd, Bentley 6102Fax : 618 9266 2819
Western Australia

Contact Workshop Organisers