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10th EAI International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare

May 16–19, 2016 | Cancun, Mexico

'Pervasive Health Workshop on Affective Interaction with Virtual Assistants within the Healthcare Context'

Cancun, Mexico, 16 May 2016

Important Dates

Paper submission deadline: March 25, 2016 (extended)

Notification of acceptance: April 8, 2016  
Camera ready: April 15, 2016  
Workshop day: May 16, 2016  


The workshop aims to discuss emerging research on affective interaction with virtual assistants (including those embodied on e.g. robots) and robots in the healthcare context, in particular concerning elderly people with dementia or mild cognitive impairment. The workshop outcomes will lead to improvement of the design of virtual assistants and increased acceptability of these technologies among the end users. Affective interaction with virtual assistants represents a new emerging field of research with numerous research groups worldwide investigating potential avenues to improve the acceptance of such technologies by elderly people. The workshop will bring together researchers from different backgrounds and disciplines such as computer science, design, gerontology, engineering, psychology and sociology.

Format of the workshop

This one-day workshop will consist of invited talks from experts in the field and two poster sessions for contributed papers. To encourage discussion, the workshop will be limited to 25 invited participants.

The following emerging topics will be discussed:

  • How to improve affect recognition in elderly and dementia patients using different modalities, e.g. physiological signals, voice, facial expressions, and gestures;
  • Communication management for affective interaction between avatar and elderly;
  • Computational models to detect moods, emotions, personalities and memory in elderly people suffering from dementia;
  • Affective and empathic behavior in expressive avatars;
  • Evaluation studies and case studies from a point of view of practical applications

Submission requirements

The organizing committee is currently seeking either technical papers up to six pages in the conference format, or else, for poster presentations, authors should submit a short paper or extended abstract, up to 2 pages describing research relevant to the workshop. All accepted papers will be included in the digital proceedings of the conference and in ACM’s digital library.

Workshop Chairs

Prof. Jesse Hoey

University of Waterloo

email: [email protected]

Alexandra Konig

University of Waterloo

email: [email protected]

Martin Morandell

AIT Austrian Institute of Technology

email: [email protected]​

More details on the official workshop website.


Affective Interaction with Virtual Assistants ​within the Healthcare context




09:00 - 09:05 Welcome
dddddddddddd Introduction and brief presentation of the workshop goals and format
09:05 - 09:35 Avatars 4 All – An Avatar Generation Toolchain
  Miroslav Sili from the Austrian Institute of Technology, Vienna, Austria
09:40 - 10:00 Overview of the [email protected] project - Affective and Cognitive Technologies for AssisTance in the HOME for dementia patients
  Jesse Hoey & Alexandra König from University of Waterloo, Canada
10:00 -10:35 Overview of different avatar generation technologies
  Aarti Malhotra from University of Waterloo, Canada
  Sascha Fagel from Zoobe, Berlin, Germany
  Miroslav Sili from the Austrian Institute of Technology, Vienna, Austria
10:35 - 10:55 Coffee break
10:55 - 11:25 How Avatars in Care Context Should Show Affect
  Sascha Fagel from Zoobe (Berlin Germany)
  Maher Ben Moussa and Donato Cereghetti
11:25 - 11:55 Analyzing Drivers’ Affect for the Design of Intelligent Wheelchair Technology for Older Adults with Cognitive Impairment
  Genevieve Foley, Pooja Viswanathan, Ellen P. Zambalde and Alex Mihailidis from University of Toronto, Canada
11:55 - 12:25 Human-Robot Interaction to Deal with Problematic Behaviors from People with Dementia
  Dagoberto Cruz-Sandoval and Jesus Favela from Computer Science Department CICESE, Mexico
12:25 - 13:45 Lunch
13:45 – 14:00 Towards automatic analysis of gestures and body expressions in depression
  Marwa Mahmoud and Peter Robinson from University of Cambridge, Computer Laboratory, Cambridge, UK
14:00 - 14:15 Detecting hesitant behaviour while climbing and descending stairs in people with dementia
  Catherine Holloway, Ian McCarthy, Tatsuto Suzuki, Kier Yong, Biao Yang, Amelia Carton, Nadia Berthouze, Nick Tyler and Sebastian Crutch from University College London, UK
14:15 - 15:45 Hands-on practical exercise "Build your own virtual assistant"
15:45 - 16:05 Coffee break
16:05 - 16:25 Closing round table discussion on issues, challenges & opportunities faced when designing virtual assistants for the health care context
  Information on follow-up workshop in July in Toronto