Appel: Corpora for Research on Emotion and Affect Workshop, LREC2008

Thierry Hamon thierry.hamon at LIPN.UNIV-PARIS13.FR
Fri Feb 1 19:34:29 UTC 2008

Date: Fri, 01 Feb 2008 09:43:41 +0100
From: ELDA <info at>
Message-ID: <47A2DBBD.8080009 at>

Second call for Papers (deadline for abstract : 12/02/2008)

Second International Workshop on EMOTION (satellite of LREC):


             Monday, 26 May 2008

            in Marrakech (Morocco)

             In Association with



                 Main Conference
                 28-29-30 May 2008


This decade has seen an upsurge of interest in systems that register
emotion (in a broad sense) and react appropriately to it. Emotion
corpora are fundamental both to developing sound conceptual analyses
and to training these 'emotion-oriented systems' at all levels - to
recognise user emotion, to express appropriate emotions, to anticipate
how a user in one state might respond to a possible kind of reaction
from the machine, etc. Corpora have only begun to grow with the area,
and much work is needed before they provide a sound foundation.

This workshop follows a first successful workshop on Corpora for
research on Emotion and Affect at LREC 2006. The HUMAINE network of
excellence ( has brought together several
groups working on the development of emotional databases, the HUMAINE
association will continue this effort and the workshop aims to broaden
the interaction that has developed in that context. The HUMAINE
Association portal will provide a range of services for individuals,
such as a web presence, access to data, and an email news service;
special interest groups will be provided with a working folder, a
mailing list, and a discussion forum or a blog.  Conferences,
workshops and research projects in the area of emotion-oriented
computing can be given a web presence on the portal.

Papers are invited in the area of corpora for research on emotion and
affect.  They may raise one or more of the following questions. What
kind of theory of emotion is needed to guide the area? What are
appropriate sources? Which modalities should be considered, in which
combinations?  What are the realistic constraints on recording
quality? How can the emotional content of episodes be described within
a corpus? Which emotion-related features should a corpus describe, and
how? How should access to corpora be provided? What level of
standardisation is appropriate? How can quality be assessed? Ethical
issues in database development and access.

Description of the specific technical issues of the workshop: Many
models of emotion are common enough to affect the way teams go about
collecting and describing emotion-related data. Some which are
familiar and intuitively appealing are known to be problematic, either
because they are theoretically dated or because they do not transfer
to practical contexts. To evaluate the resources that are already
available, and to construct valid new corpora, research teams need
some sense of the models that are relevant to the area.

- What are appropriate sources?  In the area of emotion, some of the
hardest problems involve acquiring basic data. Four main types of
source are commonly used. Their potential contributions and
limitations need to be understood.

- Acted: Many widely used emotion databases consist of acted
representations of emotion (which may or may not be generated by
actors). The method is extremely convenient, but it is known that
systems trained on acted material may not transfer to natural
emotion. It has to be established what kind of acted material is
useful for what purposes.

- Application-driven: A growing range of databases are derived from
specific applications (eg call centres). These are ideal for some
purposes, but access is often restricted for commercial reasons, and
it is highly desirable to have more generic material that could
underpin work on a wide range of applications..

- General naturalistic: Data that is representative of everyday life
is an attractive ideal, but very difficult to collect. Making
special-purpose recordings of everyday life is a massive task, with
the risk that recording changes behaviour.  Several teams have used
material from broadcasts, radio & TV (talk shows, current
affairs). That raises issues of access, signal quality, and

- Induction: A natural ideal is to induce emotion of appropriate kinds
under appropriate circumstances. Satisfying induction is an elusive
ideal, but new techniques are gradually emerging.

- Which modalities should be considered, in which combinations?
Emotion is reflected in multiple channels - linguistic content,
paralinguistic expression, facial expression, eye movement, gesture,
gross body movement, manner of action, visceral changes (heart rate,
etc), brain states (eeg activity, etc). The obvious ideal is to cover
all simultaneously, but that is impractical - and it is not clear how
often all the channels are actually active. The community needs to
clarify the relative usefulness of the channels, and of strategies for
sampling combinations.

- What are the realistic constraints on recording quality?  Naturalism
tends to be at odds with ease of signal processing.  Understanding of
the relevant tradeoffs needs to be reached. That includes awareness of
different applications (high quality may not be crucial for defining
the expressive behaviours a virtual agent should show) and of
timescale for solving particular signal processing issues(eg
recovering features from images of heads in arbitrary poses).

- How can the emotional content of episodes be described within a
corpus?  Several broad approaches exist to transcribing the emotional
content of an excerpt - using everyday emotion words; using
dimensional descriptions rooted in psychological theory (intensity,
evaluation, activation, power); using concepts from appraisal theory
(perceived goal-conduciveness of a development, potential for coping,
etc). These are being developed in specific ways driven by goals such
as elegance, inter-rater reliability, and faithfulness to the subtlety
of everyday emotion, relevance to agent decisions, etc.  There seems
to be a real prospect of achieving an agreed synthesis of the main

- Which emotion-related features should a corpus describe, and how?
Corresponding to each emotion-related channel is one or more sets of
signs relevant to conveying emotion. For instance, paralinguistic
signs exist at the level of basic features - F0, intensity,
formant-related properties, and so on; at the level of linguistic
features of prosody ; and at more global levels (tune shapes,
repetitions, etc). Even for speech, inventories of relevant signs need
to be developed, and for channels such as idle body movements, few
descriptive systems have been proposed. Few teams have the expertise
to annotate many types of sign competently, and so it is important to
establish ways of allowing teams that do have the expertise to make
their annotations available as part of a database.  Mainly for lower
level features, automatic transcription methods exist, and their role
needs to be clarified. In particular, tests of their reliability are
needed, and that depends on data that can serve as a reference.

- How should access to corpora be provided?  Practically, it is
clearly important to find ways of establishing a sustainable and
easily expandable multi-modal database for any sorts of
emotion-related data; to develop tools for easily importing and
exporting data; to develop analysis tools and application
programmers' interfaces to work on the stored data and meta-data;
and to provide ready access to existing data from previous
projects. Approaches to those goals need to be defined.

- What level of standardisation is appropriate?  Standardisation is
clearly desirable in the long term, but with so many basic issues
unresolved, it is not clear where real consensus can be achieved and
where it is better to encourage competition among different options.

- How can quality be assessed?  It is clear that some existing corpora
should not be used for serious research. The problem is to develop
quality assurance procedures that can direct potential users toward
those which can.

- Ethical issues in database development and access Corpora that show
people behaving emotionally are very likely to raise ethical issues -
not simply about signed release forms, but about the impact of
appearing in a public forum talking (for instance) about topics that
distress or excite them. Adequate guidelines need to be developed.

All of the questions above will be studied during the workshop and will
contribute to the study of practical, methodological and technical issues
central to developing emotional corpora (such as the methodologies to be
used for emotional database creation, the coding schemes to be defined, 
the technical settings to be used for the collection, the selection of
appropriate coders).

The organising committee:
Laurence Devillers / Jean-Claude Martin
Spoken Language Processing group/ Architectures and Models for
Interaction, LIMSI-CNRS,
BP 133, 91403 Orsay Cedex, France
 (+33) 1 69 85 80 62 /  (+33) 1 69 85 81 04 (phone)
 (+33) 1 69 85 80 88 / (+33) 1 69 85 80 88 (fax)
devil at / martin at

Roddy Cowie / School of Psychology
Ellen Douglas-Cowie / Dean of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Queen's University, Belfast BT7 1NN, UK
+44 2890 974354 / +44 2890 975348  (phone)
+44 2890 664144 / +44 2890 ******  (fax)
r.cowie at / e.douglas-Cowie at

Anton Batliner - Lehrstuhl fuer Mustererkennung (Informatik 5)
Universitaet Erlangen-Nuernberg - Martensstrasse 3
91058 Erlangen - F.R. of Germany
Tel.: +49 9131 85 27823 - Fax.: +49 9131 303811
batliner at

Contact: Laurence Devillers lrec-emotion at

1rt call for paper                                 21 December
2nd call for paper                                 29 January
Deadline for 1500-2000 words abstract submission   12 February
Notification of acceptance                         12 March
Final version of accepted paper                    4 April
Workshop full-day                                  26 May

The workshop will consist of paper and poster presentations.
Submitted abstracts of papers for oral and poster must consist of
about 1500-2000 words.
Final submissions should be 4 pages long, must be in English,
and follow the submission guidelines at LREC2008.

The preferred format is MS word or pdf. The file should be submitted
via email to lrec-emotion at 

As soon as possible, authors are encouraged to send to
lrec-emotion at a brief email indicating their intention to
participate, including their contact information and the topic they
intend to address in their submissions.

Proceedings of the workshop will be printed by the LREC Local
Organising Committee.

Submitted papers will be blind reviewed.

The workshop will consist of a full-day session, There will be time
for collective discussions.
For this full-day Workshop, the registration fee will be specified on

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