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Lecture “Social Computing” (WS19/20)

Affective Computing is an interdisciplinary research area that uses models of affect to recognize emotional expressions, simulate affect, and create emotional behavior.

This course gives an overview of theories of human emotion and how emotions, social values, cognitive processes, and bodily expressions are connected. Also, hardware and computational techniques for modeling human emotion processes as well as for recognizing and synthesizing emotional behavior are presented and discussed.
Further, we will discuss how to extend traditional HCI systems to create Social HCI systems. Master students will gain a strong background in the theory and practice of human-centered computing as it relates to games, immersive environments, and pedagogical applications.

Tutorials, Exercises, OrganisationCMS Social Computing

Instructor: Patrick Gebhard (

Guest Instructors: Tanja Schneeberger, Fabrizio Nunnari

Tutor: Matthias Hock (s9mahock@stud. <insert rest of UdS domain>)

Lecture dates: Thursday, 10 am -12 am

Location: HS 003, E1 3

Exam: 13.2.20 HS 003, E1 3

Re-Exam: t.b.a. 

Grades: Exam + exercise (bonus of 0,3 when having more than 50% in the exercise)

Course Outline

October 17Introduction and Overview

  • Course Organisation
  • What is Affect?
  • History and Current State
  • Typical Areas of Research

Introduction and Overview – Slides (PDF)

October 24Basic Models of Affect

  • Identify Affective Phenomena
  • Need for Theory
  • Basic Model of Affect

Basic Model of Affect – Slides (PDF)

Video for Lecture Experiment

Support Media: Interview Prof. Lisa Feldman Barrett about Emotions

Preparation Reading: Loewenstein, George, and Jennifer S. Lerner. The role of affect in decision making.

October 31: Emotion as Information

  • Appraisal Theory
  • Influence on Cognitive Processes
  • Rational vs. Emotional Decisions

Emotion as Information – Slides (PDF)

Support Reading: Oxford Handbook of Affective Computing – Chapter 5

Preparation Reading: Whiten, Andrew (Ed.) Natural Theories of Mind: Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3.

November 7: Theory of Mind, Advanced Definition of Emotions

  • Theory of Mind
  • Advanced Definition of Emotion
  • Regulation of Emotions

Theory of Mind, Advanced Definition of Emotion – Slides (PDF)

Support Reading: Oxford Handbook of Affective Computing – Chapter 6

Preparation Reading: Psychology as a Science 

November 14: Experimental Design, Methodology and Analysis

  • Step 1: From everyday life to hypotheses
  • Step 2: From hypotheses to an experiment design

Experimental Design, Methodology, and Analysis 1/2 – Slides (PDF)

November 21: Conceptualisation, Operationalisation,
and Realisation

  • Focus of Research
  • Affective Research Steps
  • Methods and Techniques

Conceptualisation, Operationalisation, and Realisation – Slides (PDF)

Support Reading: Owens, Introduction to Survey Research Design (PDF)

Preparation Reading: Psychology as a Science 

November 28: Experimental Design, Methodology and Analysis

  • Step 3: From design to conducting the experiment
  • Step 4: From experiment to results

Experimental Design, Methodology, and Analysis 2/2 – Slides (PDF)

Preparation Reading: Oxford Handbook of Affective Computing – Chapter 34 

December 5Systems of Affective Computing

  • Workflow and Software Components
  • Modelling Approaches
  • Tools and Examples

Systems of Affective Computing – Slides (PDF)

Interview with Keith Jonstone about Status (MP4)

Status Examples (MP4)

Support Reading: VisualSceneMaker – A Tool for Authoring Interactive Virtual Characters (PDF)

Preparation Reading: Generation of Virtual Characters from Personality Traits (PDF)

December 12: Authoring Virtual Characters for Social Interactions

  • Body Modeling
  • Animation of Characters
  • Concepts and Tools

Authoring Virtual  Characters for Social Interactions – Slides (PDF)

Support Reading: Exploting Models of Personality and Emotions to Control the Behavior of Animated Interactive Agents (PDF)

Preparation Reading: Dastani et al. Programming Agents with Emotions 2015 (PDF)

December 19Computational Model of Affect

  • Overview on Models
  • Component View on Affect Simulation
  • Script-Based and Plan-based Appraisal

Computational Model of Affect – Slides (PDF)

ALMA web page,Basic Appraisal Tags, OCC variables, elicited Emotions

Videos: ALMA OCEAN-PAD MappingALMA Mood Change (Pull) and Amplification (Push)

Support Reading: Gebhard. A Layered Model of Affect, 2005

Preparation Reading: The Oxford Handbook of Affective Computing, 
Chapter 36 – „Affect in Human-Robot-Interaction“

January 9Computationally Model Human Emotions

  • Advanced Computational Models
  • Coping, and Regulation
  • Connection between Model and Social Signals

Computationally Model Human Emotions – Slides (PDF)

Support Reading: Gebhard et al. Model of Appraisal, Regulation, and Social Signal Interpretation, 2018

Preparation Reading: David DeVault et al., SimSensei Kiosk: A Virtual Human Interviewer for Healthcare Decision Support, 2014

January 16Systems of Social Computing

  • Definition Social HCI
  • Social User Modeling
  • System Examples and Discussion

Systems of Social Computing – Slides (PDF)

Support Reading: Christina Conati, Heather Maclaren, Emirically building and evaluating a probabilistic model of user affect, 2009

Preparation Reading: The Oxford Handbook of Affective Computing, 
Chapter 7 – „Social Signal Processing“

January 23Interpretation of Behavior and  Social Signals

  • Interpretation of Behavior
  • Social Signal Processing
  • Challenges, Models, and Tools

Interpretation of Behavior and Social Signals – Slides (PDF)

Videos: Experimental Study from Heider and SimmelCognitive Consequences (Festinger and Carlsmith)

January 30Recapitulation

  • Important Concepts
  • Areas of Affective Computing
  • Typical Methods and Techniques

Recapitulation – Slides (PDF)