[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this paper we propose and evaluate UX_Mate, a non-invasive system for the automatic assessment of User eXperience (UX). In addition, we contribute a novel database of annotated and synchronized videos of interactive behavior and facial expressions. UX_Mate is a modular system which tracks facial expressions of users, interprets them based on pre-set rules, and generates predictions about the occurrence of a target emotional state, which can be linked to interaction events. The system simplifies UX evaluation providing an indication of event occurrence. UX_Mate has several advantages compared to other state of the art systems: easy deployment in the user's natural environment, avoidance of invasive devices, and extreme cost reduction. The paper reports a pilot and a validation study on a total of 46 users, where UX_Mate was used for identifying interaction difficulties. The studies show encouraging results that open possibilities for automatic real-time UX evaluation in ecological environments.
Conference on Designing Interactive Systems; 01/2012
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The 2nd International Workshop on End User Development for Services (EUD4Services) focuses on the issues encountered when people
who are not educated as software developers attempt to create and compose software services, and on approaches and theories
aiming to support such activities. The aim is to establish a community of academics and practitioners and facilitate the production
of a coherent body of work related to this area.
End-User Development - Third International Symposium, IS-EUD 2011, Torre Canne (BR), Italy, June 7-10, 2011. Proceedings; 01/2011
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper presents requirements elicitation study for a EUD tool for composing service-based applications. WIRE aims at enabling
EUD by harvesting and recommending community composition knowledge (the wisdom), thus facilitating knowledge transfer from
developers to end-users. The idea was evaluated with 10 contextual interviews to accountants, eliciting a rich set of information,
which can lead to requirements for Wisdom-Aware EUD.
End-User Development - Third International Symposium, IS-EUD 2011, Torre Canne (BR), Italy, June 7-10, 2011. Proceedings; 01/2011
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tabletop interfaces are a novel class of technologies that are particularly suited to support co-located collaboration. The Collaborative Puzzle Game (CPG) is a tabletop interactive activity developed for fostering collaboration skills in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The CPG features an interaction rule called Enforced Collaboration (EC); in order to be moved, puzzle pieces must be touched and dragged simultaneously by the two players. Two studies were conducted to test the effect of EC on collaboration. In Study I, 70 typically developing boys were tested in pairs to characterise the way they respond to EC; in Study II, 16 boys with ASD were tested in pairs. Results suggest that EC has a generally positive effect on collaboration and is associated with more complex interactions. For children with ASD, the EC interaction rule was effective in triggering behaviours associated with co-ordination of the task and negotiation.
Journal of Assistive Technologies 03/2010; 4(1):4-13. DOI:10.5042/jat.2010.0040
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present the design and evaluation of the Collaborative Puzzle Game (CPG), a tabletop interactive activity developed for fostering collaboration in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The CPG was inspired by cardboard jigsaw puzzles and runs on the MERL DiamondTouch table . Digital pieces can be manipulated by direct finger touch. The CPG features a set of interaction rules called Enforced Collaboration (EC); in order to be moved, puzzle pieces must be touched and dragged simultaneously by two players. Two studies were conducted to test whether EC has the potential to serve as an interaction paradigm that would help foster collaborative skills. In Study 1, 70 boys with typical development were tested and in Study 2 16 boys with ASD were tested. Results show that EC has a positive effect on collaboration although it appears to be associated with a more complex interaction. For children with ASD, EC was also related to a higher number of "negotiation" moves, which may reflect their higher need of coordination during the collaborative activity.
ACM International Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces, ITS 2009, Banff / Calgary, Alberta, Canada, November 23-25, 2009; 05/2009
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: While various Computer Assisted Instruction tools have resulted in mainly positive effects on children with ASD, responses from both professionals and parents have been mixed; along with the obvious advantage of using such environments with children with ASD, there are those who fear that such tools will increase social withdrawal and encourage compulsive behaviors. However, computer based interventions and virtual environments appear to offer a useful tool for social skills training in children with ASD.
Objectives: To demonstrate a new paradigm using a co-located setting that employs the Diamond Touch table originally prototyped by the Mitsubishi Electronic Research Laboratory and now commercialized by CircleTwelve Inc.
Methods: The DiamondTouch has a 32-inch diagonal surface that can be placed flat on a standard table. The graphical user interface is projected onto this surface. It contains an array of
antennas embedded in the touch surface. Each antenna transmits a unique signal. Each user has a separate receiver, connected to the user, typically through the user's chair. When a user touches the surface,
antennas near the touch point couple an extremely small amount of signal through the user's body and to the receiver. In this way DiamondTouch can distinguish who is touching and distinguish between simultaneous inputs from multiple users. This unique characteristic enables the implementation of cooperative gestures where the system interprets the gestures of more than one user as contributing to a single, combined command increasing participation and sense of cohesion.
Results: Initially, we developed the StoryTable application, whereby pairs of children could interact to construct a common story. In this application we investigated a specific case of cooperative gestures, named “Enforced collaboration”, that require that actions on digital objects (e.g., touch, drag) be carried out by two or more users simultaneously. Preliminary investigation with dyads of children with high functioning autism has shown that forcing the simultaneous execution of selected tasks may foster the recognition of the presence of the other, stimulate social behavior (increased eye contact, emotion sharing, and enhanced interest toward the partner), and improve social skills. More recently, we have shown a second interface, the Collaborative Puzzle Game (CPG), to be a feasible tool for lower functioning children with ASD since it does not require the use of language. The Collaborative Puzzle resembles a traditional jigsaw puzzle (an activity that primarily involves visuo-spatial skills). While in the Free Play Condition, players can move puzzle pieces individually, in the Joint Play Condition the Enforced collaboration is active and the puzzle pieces can be moved to the solution area only be means of a joint drag-and-drop action. In an initial study both children with typical development and those with ASD enjoyed using the game and were readily able to learn and execute the various functions of the game within one session with minimal explanations. An increase in collaboration as the sessions progressed for both typical children and those with ASD was observed.
Conclusions: Our tentative conclusion is that the CPG encourages children to interact, whether they have ASD or not.
International Meeting for Autism Research 2009; 05/2009
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present the design and an initial evaluation of the Collaborative Puzzle Game (CPG), an interactive game designed with the purpose of creating a technology-supported activity for fostering collaboration in children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Results show that shaping interaction with a set of system-provided rules called ldquoenforced collaborationrdquo makes interaction more complex but has a positive impact on children's collaboration.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this paper, we present a study concerning psychological ownership for digital entities in the context of collaborative working environments. In the first part of the paper we present a conceptual framework of ownership: various issues such as definition, effects, target factors and behavioral manifestation are explicated. We then focus on ownership marking, a behavioral manifestation that is closely tied to psychological ownership. We designed an experiment using DiamondTouch Table to investigate the effect of two of the most widely used ownership markers on users' attitudes and performance. Both performance and attitudinal differences were found, suggesting the significant role of ownership and ownership markers in the groupware and interactive workspaces design.
Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Multimodal Interfaces, ICMI 2006, Banff, Alberta, Canada, November 2-4, 2006; 01/2006
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: DaFEx (Database of Facial Expressions) is a database created with the purpose of providing a benchmark for the evaluation
of the facial expressivity of Embodied Conversational Agents (ECAs). DaFEx consists of 1008 short videos containing emotional
facial expressions of the 6 Ekman’s emotions plus the neutral expression. The facial expressions were recorded by 8 italian
professional actors (4 male and 4 female) in two acting conditions (“utterance” and “no- utterance”) and at 3 intensity levels
(high, medium, low). Very much attention has been paid to image quality and framing. The high number of videos, the number
of variables considered, and the very good video quality, make of DaFEx a reference corpus both for the evaluation of ECAs
and the research in emotion psychology.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this paper we present DaFEx (Database of Facial Expressions), a database created with the purpose of providing a benchmark for the evaluation of the facial expressivity of Embodied Conversational Agents (ECAs). DaFEx consists of 1008 short videos containing emotional facial expressions of the 6 Ekman's emotions plus the neutral expression. The facial expressions were recorded by 8 professional actors (male and female) in two acting conditions ("utterance" and "no- utterance") and at 3 intensity levels (high, medium, low). The properties of DaFEx were studied by having 80 subjects classify the emotion expressed in the videos. High rates of accuracy were obtained for most of the emotions displayed. We also tested the effect of the intensity level, of the articulatory movements due to speech, and of the actors' and subjects' gender, on classification accuracy. The results showed that decoding accuracy decreases with the intensity of emotions; that the presence of articulatory movements negatively affects the recognition of fear, surprise and of the neutral expression, while it improves the recognition of anger; and that facial expressions seem to be recognized (slightly) better when acted by actresses than by actors.
Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Multimodal Interfaces, ICMI 2005, Trento, Italy, October 4-6, 2005; 01/2005
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this paper we present an evaluation study for DaFEx (Database of Facial Expressions), a database created with the purpose
of providing a benchmark for the evaluation of the facial expressivity of Embodied Conversational Agents (ECAs). DaFEx consists
of 1008 short videos containing emotional facial expressions of the 6 Ekman’s emotions plus the neutral expression. The facial
expressions were recorded by 8 professional actors (male and female) in two acting conditions (“utterance” and “non utterance”)
and at 3 intensity levels (high, medium, low). The properties of DaFEx were studied by having 80 subjects classify the emotion
expressed in the videos. We tested the effect of the intensity level, of the articulatory movements due to speech, and of
the actors’ and subjects’ gender, on classification accuracy. We also studied the way error distribute across confusion classes.
The results are summarized in this work.
Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction, First International Conference, ACII 2005, Beijing, China, October 22-24, 2005, Proceedings; 01/2005
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this paper we present the design and some initial observations of the Collaborative Puzzle Game, an interactive play system designed with two main purposes: 1) to study social interactions and collaboration in boys with Autistic Spectrum Disorders and with typical development, and 2) to test the feasibility of the system as an instrument for the rehabilitation of social abilities of boys with ASD. Designed to run on the DiamondTouch, an interactive table supporting multi-user interaction, the CPG allows to implement "enforced collaboration", an interaction paradigm where actions on digital objects that can be performed only through the simultaneous touch of two or more users.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper presents the evaluation of the conceptual design of WIRE, a EUD tool for service-based applications. WIRE exploits community composition knowledge harvested from existing programs defined by other developers in the same domain. Such knowledge can assist less skilled developers in defining the composition they need, allowing them to go beyond their individual ca-pabilities. The assistance comes in the form of interactive contextual advices proposed during the definition of composition logic. This idea was evaluated with 10 semi-structured interviews with University accountants. A rich set of information was elicited by means of several probes, including examples of contextual helps, commercial EUD tools, and scenarios in the form of positive and negative user stories. Results informed the definition of a set of require-ments for WIRE, and fostered a critical reflection on possibilities and limita-tions of the general framework of EUD.