Transactions on Affective Computing

IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing (TAC) is intended to be a cross disciplinary and international archive journal aimed at disseminating results of research on the design of systems that can recognize, interpret, and simulate human emotions and related affective phenomena. Read the full scope of TAC

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From the July-September 2017 issue

Modeling Dynamics of Expressive Body Gestures In Dyadic Interactions

By Zhaojun Yang and Shrikanth S. Narayanan

Featured article thumbnail imageBody gestures are an important non-verbal expression channel during affective communication. They convey human attitudes and emotions as they dynamically unfold during an interpersonal interaction. Hence, it is highly desirable to understand the dynamics of body gestures associated with emotion expression in human interactions. We present a statistical framework for robustly modeling the dynamics of body gestures in dyadic interactions. Our framework is based on high-level semantic gesture patterns and consists of three components. First, we construct a universal background model (UBM) using Gaussian mixture modeling (GMM) to represent subject-independent gesture variability. Next, we describe each gesture sequence as a concatenation of semantic gesture patterns which are derived from a parallel HMM structure. Then, we probabilistically compare the segments of each gesture sequence extracted from the second step with the UBM obtained from the first step, in order to select highly probabilistic gesture patterns for the sequence. The dynamics of each gesture sequence are represented by a statistical variation profile computed from the selected patterns, and are further described in a well-defined kernel space. This framework is compared with three baseline models and is evaluated in emotion recognition experiments, i.e., recognizing the overall emotional state of a participant in a dyadic interaction from the gesture dynamics. The recognition performance demonstrates the superiority of the proposed framework over the baseline models. The analysis of the relationship between the emotion recognition performance and the number of the selected segments also indicates that a few local salient events, rather than the whole gesture sequence, are sufficiently informative to trigger the human summarization of their overall global emotion perception.

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Editorials and Announcements


  • According to Clarivate Analytics' 2016 Journal Citation Report, TAC has an impact factor of 3.149.
  • Heartfelt congratulations are offered to Georgios N. Yannakakis and Julian Togelius, authors of "Experience-Driven Procedural Content Generation," who were presented with TAC's Most Influential Paper Award by Editor-in-Chief Björn W. Schuller at the 2015 6th AAAC Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction Conference in Xi'An, P.R. China on 22 September 2015.


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