PhD Student Yuyu Xu Won The Best Paper Award at IVA 2014

Monday, September 1st, 2014

Yuyu Xu’s paper “Compound Gesture Generation: A Model Based on Ideational Units” won the Best Paper Award at 2014 International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents.

Her paper presents a hierarchical framework that generates continuous gesture animation performance for virtual characters. As opposed to approaches that focus more on realizing individual gesture, the focus of this work is on the relation between gestures as part of an overall gesture performance. Following Calbris’ work,  thier approach is to structure the performance around ideational units and determine gestural features within and across these ideational units. Furthermore, they use Calbris’ work on the relation between form and meaning in gesture to help inform how individual gesture’s expressivity is manipulated. Their framework takes in high level communicative function descriptions, generates behavior descriptions and realizes them using our character animation engine. They define the specifications for these different levels of descriptions. Finally, the paper shows the general results as well as experiments illustrating the impacts of the key features.

Intelligent virtual agents (IVAs) are interactive characters that exhibit human-like qualities and communicate with humans or with each other using natural human modalities such as facial expressions, speech and gesture. They are capable of real-time perception, cognition and action that allows them to participate in dynamic social environments.

IVA 2014 is an interdisciplinary annual conference and the main leading scientific forum for presenting research on modelling, developing and evaluating intelligent virtual agents with a focus on communicative abilities and social behavior. In addition to presentations on theoretical issues, the conference encourages the showcasing of working applications. Researchers from the fields of human-human and human-robot interaction are also encouraged to share work with a relevance to intelligent virtual agents.