Infusing Humor in Unexpected Events

  • Alessandro Valitutti
  • Tony Veale
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9749)


In this paper, we focus on humor facilitators, a type of humorous agents meant to act as mediators between unexpected events occurring in smart environments and the human agents. More specifically, we present a case study in which fictional ideation and narrative dramatization are combined to achieve humor facilitation. We implemented a test bed for the simulation of an interactive environment. Then, we carried out an empirical evaluation with human subjects, aimed to assess the contribution of narrative comments to the humorous effect. The results show first evidence that fictional comments, delivered as dialogue acts, increase the humor response in a statistically significant way.


Unexpected Event Fictional Character Narrative Comment Smart Environment Narrative Generation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We would like to thank Stefan Ludgate for his insightful suggestions about the textual scripting of the animation employed in the experiment.

This research was supported by the EC project WHIM: The What-If Machine. See


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Computer ScienceUniversity College DublinBelfield, Dublin 4Ireland

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