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Gaze Behavior during Interaction with a Virtual Character in Interactive Storytelling

Nikolaus Bee, Johannes Wagner, Elisabeth André, Thurid Vogt, Fred Charles, David Pizzi and Marc Cavazza

"AAMAS 2010 Workshop on Interacting with ECAs as Virtual Characters"


Abstract:

In this paper, we present an interactive eye gaze model for embodied conversational agents in order to improve the experience of users participating in Interactive Storytelling. The underlying narrative in which the approach was tested is based on a classical XIXth century psychological novel: Madame Bovary, by Flaubert. At various stages of the narrative, the user can address the main character or respond to her using free-style spoken natural language input, impersonating her lover. An eye tracker was connected to enable the interactive gaze model to respond to user's current gaze (i.e. looking into the virtual character's eyes or not). We conducted a study with 19 students where we compared our interactive eye gaze model with a non-interactive eye gaze model that was informed by studies of human gaze behaviors, but had no information on where the user was looking. The interactive model achieved a higher score for user ratings than the non-interactive model.


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