Towards emotionally-intelligent pedagogical agents

Konstantin Zakharov, Antonija Mitrovic, Lucy Johnston

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookConference contributionpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Research shows that emotions play an important role in learning. Human tutors are capable of identifying and responding to the affective states of their students; therefore, for ITSs to be truly affective, they should also be capable of tracking and appropriately responding to the emotional state of their users. We report on a project aimed at developing an affect-aware pedagogical agent persona for an ITS for teaching database design skills. We use the dimensional approach to affective modeling, and track the users' affective state along the valence dimension as identified from tracking the users' facial features. We describe the facial-feature tracking application we developed, as well as the set of rules that control the agent's behavior. The agent's response to the student's action depends on the student's cognitive state (as determined from the session history) as well as on the student's affective state. The experimental study of the agent shows the general preference towards the affective agent over the non-affective agent.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntelligent Tutoring Systems - 9th International Conference, ITS 2008, Proceedings
EditorsBeverley P. Woolf, Esma Aïmeur, Roger Nkambou, Susanne Lajoie
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9783540691327
ISBN (Print)9783540691303
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
Event9th International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems, ITS 2008 - Montreal, QC, Canada
Duration: 23 Jun 200827 Jun 2008

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume5091 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference9th International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems, ITS 2008
CityMontreal, QC


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