Jonathan Gratch, Stacy Marsella: “Tears and Fears: Modeling emotions and emotional behaviors in synthetic agents”

June 15, 2001 | Montreal, Quebec

Speaker: Jonathan Gratch, Stacy Marsella
Host: 5th International Conference on Autonomous Agents

Emotions play a critical role in creating engaging and believable characters to populate virtual worlds. Our goal is to create general computational models to support characters that act in virtual environments, make decisions, but whose behavior also suggests an underlying emotional current. In service of this goal, we integrate two complementary approaches to emotional modeling into a single unified system. Gratch’s Émile system focuses on the problem of emotional appraisal: how emotions arise from an evaluation of how environmental events relate to an agent’s plans and goals. Marsella et al. ‘s IPD system focuses more on the impact of emotions on behavior, including the impact on the physical expressions of emotional state through suitable choice of gestures and body language. This integrated model is layered atop Steve, a pedagogical agent architecture, and exercised within the context of the Mission Rehearsal Exercise, a prototype system designed to teach decision- making skills in highly evocative situations.