Sharing Emotions and Space – Empathy as a Basis for Cooperative Spatial Interaction

  • Hana Boukricha
  • Nhung Nguyen
  • Ipke Wachsmuth
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6895)


Empathy is believed to play a major role as a basis for humans’ cooperative behavior. Recent research shows that humans empathize with each other to different degrees depending on several modulation factors including, among others, their social relationships, their mood, and the situational context. In human spatial interaction, partners share and sustain a space that is equally and exclusively reachable to them, the so-called interaction space. In a cooperative interaction scenario of relocating objects in interaction space, we introduce an approach for triggering and modulating a virtual humans cooperative spatial behavior by its degree of empathy with its interaction partner. That is, spatial distances like object distances as well as distances of arm and body movements while relocating objects in interaction space are modulated by the virtual human’s degree of empathy. In this scenario, the virtual human’s empathic emotion is generated as a hypothesis about the partner’s emotional state as related to the physical effort needed to perform a goal directed spatial behavior.


Multiagent System Interaction Partner Emotional Valence Spatial Behavior Situational Context 
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.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hana Boukricha
    • 1
  • Nhung Nguyen
    • 1
  • Ipke Wachsmuth
    • 1
  1. 1.A.I. Group, Faculty of TechnologyBielefeld UniversityBielefeldGermany

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