Stefan Rank

Stefan Rank
Drexel University | DU · Digital Media

PhD

About

51
Publications
8,547
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
337
Citations

Publications

Publications (51)
Conference Paper
Integrating new technology such as Augmented Reality into an established learning context is not a simple process. We explore the use of mixed reality for piano pedagogy, focusing on notation literacy, and playtest a series of prototypes with a panel of practitioners in piano teaching. Our piano training game prototypes called KeynVision (keen-visi...
Chapter
Computer-mediated communication between humans is at the center of the formation of collective emotions on the Internet. This chapter presents how interactive affective systems can be applied in order to study the role of emotion in online communication at the micro-scale, i.e. between individual users or between users and artificial communication...
Conference Paper
Non-player characters (NPCs) in video games have very little information about the player’s current state. The usage of physiological data in games has been very limited, mainly to adjustments in difficulty based on stress levels. We assess the usefulness of physiological signals for rapport in interactions with story characters in a small role-pla...
Conference Paper
Virtual reality (VR) enables unusual experiences, including the physically impossible, in an immersive environment. As new media such as VR are developed, designers tend to remediate aspects from previous media, but not every aspect fits. Several areas in VR design warrant scientific investigation in that regard. This paper specifically addresses t...
Conference Paper
People play games for the experience, and one of the aims of player experience research is to understand what constitutes and contributes to positive gaming experiences. Emotionally challenging and uncomfortable game play experiences have been largely neglected, as they are seemingly at odds with the field's focus on fun and positive affect. We arg...
Conference Paper
Torchless is a procedurally generated competitive dungeon crawling game where players have distinct asymmetric roles while sharing the same screen. Utilizing asymmetry, Torchless explores the relationship between players by experimenting with available information, player power, and player objectives.
Conference Paper
What aspects of gameplay have a positive impact on cognitive development? This work-in-progress focuses on the role of spatial involvement via different control schemes by implementing a training regimen through Minecraft for mental rotation in order to understand the impact of aspects of involvement on the training outcome. A proven engaging train...
Conference Paper
Previous research demonstrates a shift from negative behavioral consequences to positive cognitive development in understanding the effects of computer gameplay across multiple age groups. However, there are still questions about which aspects of gameplay have an impact on those positive consequences. This work-in-progress focuses on the role of sp...
Conference Paper
Virtual reality allows users to experience unusual immersive environments. There are still several aspect of design for virtual reality that need more investigation, such as transitioning between environments. Multiple studies have shown that physical movement in a virtual environment supports immersion and presence. Our setup will allow the compar...
Conference Paper
We report on the results of a study on immersion in an audio-only game with touch-less gesture interaction. A structured design approach to audio feedback that considers the story-context leads to different design approaches: explicit instructions on the one hand and diegetic environmental feedback on the other. Further, we distinguish audio feedba...
Conference Paper
The design of audio feedback for touch-less gesture interaction with audio-only environments requires a structured approach. We present design principles for responsive audio feedback geared towards hand gestures in audio-only games, focusing on diegetic environmental feedback before, during, and after gestures. Illustrations for the principles are...
Conference Paper
Touch-less hand gestures require a structured approach towards the design of audio feedback, especially in audio-only environments. We present an implementation approach for responsive audio feedback geared towards hand gestures in audio-only games, focusing on diegetic environmental feedback before, during, and after gestures. The developed framew...
Conference Paper
Matsya is a group project developed by seven students over two terms in a course on game design at Drexel University. Inspired by the Hindu Flood Myth, all art assets were developed to reflect design styles found in Indian culture. Intended to be played on iPad and to evoke a sense of balance and flow, the player must spin rings of water to help a...
Conference Paper
We use game prototypes to investigate different audio feedback designs for hand gestures for encouraging immersion. Replacing explicit audio instructions for hand positions and movements with responsive audio feedback, suggestive of interaction methods by using environmental story-related audio cues, leads to measurably higher immersion. We present...
Conference Paper
Interactive storytelling games can benefit from a century of film cinematography and established cinematic conventions. Conversation scenes in games are highly dynamic and pre-authored camera parameters impractical. We propose a combined theoretical and empirical approach towards an automatic Visual Director System focused on dynamic conversation s...
Conference Paper
Female gamer numbers are on the rise, but females have been disproportionately underrepresented and inaccurately portrayed in video games. Recent findings also reveal many negative effects misrepresentation can have on women’s self esteem and body image. Based on a review of the literature on media effects, and using available anthropometric data,...
Article
Full-text available
This article presents two studies conducted with an affective dialogue system in which text-based system-user communication was used to model, generate, and present different affective and social interaction scenarios. We specifically investigated the influence of interaction context and roles assigned to the system and the participants, as well as...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents an integrated view on a series of experiments conducted with an affective dialog system, applied as a tool in studies of emotions and social processes in online communication. The different realizations of the system are evaluated in three experimental setups in order to verify effects of affective profiles, as well as of fine-g...
Conference Paper
In this chapter, a scenario-based analysis of the guiding vision of a virtual butler is presented. After introducing the concept of scenario-based analysis for comparing agent-based technology design, we use the characterization of the scenario hinted at in the vision document to discuss several technological issues that arise from it. By disregard...
Conference Paper
The authoring and configuration of affective characters for interactive narratives presents a significant problem for the viability of interactive digital storytelling. Motivated by work on exploring the author's perspective on character creation, we present an outline of how a selection of action sequences as backstory experiences can be used to d...
Conference Paper
Online communications involve an emotional component that influences the behaviour of internet users. Datasets on online communication allow for modelling emotional effects on individual and collective behaviour of users to make predictions about behaviour in online chat environments. One application of such models is decision-support for online bo...
Article
Autonomous characters in interactive storytelling can be supported by using affective agent architectures. The configuration of most current tools for controlling agents is, however, implementation specific and not tailored to the needs of authors. Based on literature review, a questionnaire evaluation of authors’ preferences for character creation...
Article
Affect Listeners are applied as tools for studying the role of emotions in online communication. They need to interact both in dyads as well as in group settings with multiple users. In this paper, we present the evolution of such affective dialog systems from a focus on dyadic interaction to multi-party interaction on chat networks. Starting from...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Emotions are an important part of most societal dynamics. As with face to face meetings, Internet exchanges may not only include factual information but may also elicit emotional responses; how participants feel about the subject discussed or other group members. The development of automatic sentiment analysis has made large scale emotion detection...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This article introduces OPARIS, an OPen ARchitecture for Interactive Storytelling, which aims at facilitating and fostering the integration of various and heterogeneous Interactive Storytelling components. It is based on a modular decomposition of functionalities and a specification of the various messages that different modules exchange with each...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We describe the use of affective profiles in a dialog system and its effect on participants’ perception of conversational partners and experienced emotional changes in an experimental setting, as well as the mechanisms for realising three different affective profiles and for steering task-oriented follow-up dialogs. Experimental results show that t...
Article
Full-text available
The literature on social agents has put forward a number of requirements that social agents need to fulfill. In this paper we analyze the kinds of reasons and motivations that lie behind the statement of these requirements. In a second part of the paper, we look at how one can go about engineering the social agents. We introduce a general language...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The communication between avatar and agent has already been treated from different but specialized perspectives. In contrast, this paper gives a balanced view of every key architectural aspect: from text analysis to computer graphics, the chatting system and the emotional model. Non-verbal communication, such as facial expression, gaze, or head ori...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The aim of this paper is threefold: it explores methods for the detection of affective states in text, it presents the usage of such affective cues in a conversational sys- tem and it evaluates its effectiveness in a virtual reality setting. Valence and arousal values, used for generating facial expressions of users' avatars, are also incorpo- rate...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Interlocutors' affective profile and character traits play an important role in interactions. In the presented study, we apply a dialog system to investigate the effects of the affective profile on user-system communication patterns and users' expressions of affective states. We describe the data-set acquired from experiments with the affective dia...
Conference Paper
The creation and demise of e-communities is greatly influenced by emergent emotional phenomena that warrant study above the level of individuals: collective emotions. Our requirements for an agent-based simulation of these phenomena are constrained both by the data available from online communities as well as by the scenarios of use for the simulat...
Thesis
Software or robotic agents that can reproduce some of the (human) phenomena labelled as emotional have a range of applications in entertainment, pedagogy, and human computer interaction in general. Based on previous experience in modelling emotion, the method of scenario-based analysis for the comparison and design of affective agent architectures...
Conference Paper
Story-worlds are virtual worlds inhabited by synthetic characters that provide an environment in which users participate actively in the creation of a narrative. Implementation approaches range from plot-driven to character-based [4,7]. Character-based approaches require synthetic agents with autonomy and personality. Affective agent architectures...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Real-Time Strategy (RTS) games are a challenging genre for the design of Intelligent Virtual Agents. We were interested whether incorporating a simple emotional model to an existing bot-script improves playing strength. We implemented a bot for Microsoft’s RTS game “Age of Mythology”. The emotional model is based on the “Big-Five” and the Emotion-C...
Conference Paper
Executable computational process models of emotion are based on specific sets of modelling primitives. Motivated by the requirements of a specific scenario and concepts used by emotion theories, we propose as building blocks explicitly bounded resources and concurrent processes acquiring and using them. Our approach is intended for the incremental...
Chapter
Resource-bounded agents that are situtated in complex environments face challenges of uncertainty, non-determinism, conflicting goals, and social interaction. We investigate planning and emotional processes as helpful assets in this context and point out possibilities of interactions between them. The different perspectives of these processes on th...
Article
Current research on aective architectures for situated agents is fragmented into mod- elling aspects of emotion for specific pur- poses. To improve comparability of dier- ent architectures, we propose an approach that comprises the analysis of both, the niche space of target scenarios and the design space of architectures for autonomous agents. In...
Conference Paper
Generation of interesting narratives in a simulated dramatic story-world requires situated software agents with emotional compe- tences. The operationalisation of concepts from appraisal theories of emotion can provide flexible roleplayers that reduce the required ex- ternal macro-level control. Situatedness and the analysis of the social lifeworld...
Article
Pedagogical drama uses engaging role-play to train the learner in dealing with the simulated situations. An important asset for such dramatic interactions could be embodied software agents that can take on different roles in the simulated domain. This paper describes ActAffAct, a bottom-up approach to constructing emotionally and dramatically belie...
Thesis
Emotion plays a central role in engaging drama. The conflicts between the characters in a play and the emotions involved in resolving them are the constituents of a dramatic structure, a plot. This premise leads to the assumption that a cast of characters driven by a simulation of the process described by the appraisal theory of emotion might reali...
Article
Full-text available
This paper discusses the collaborative evolution of a digital system to provide support for landscape architects and other design professionals in storing, encountering and retrieving large bodies of 'inspirational objects', mostly in the form of images. The system combines visual 'weak indexing' of objects through placing them in a visual environm...
Article
Dramatic story-worlds require software agents with emo-tional competences. I propose as building blocks for a computational model of emotion explicitly bounded resources and concurrently active processes acquiring and using the resources. A set of objectives for the implementation of such a model is presented based on limitations identi-fied in ear...

Network

Cited By