Towards an Affective Self-Service Agent

  • Christopher J. Martin
  • Jacqueline Archibald
  • Leslie Ball
  • Lloyd Carson
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 179)


While emotional intelligence plays a key role in facilitating satisfactory interactions between people, its application is both underexplored and underexploited in human–computer interaction. Self-service technology is increasingly being incorporated by goods and service providers, however user satisfaction is still less than ideal. Studies have been carried out in which an affective embodied agent has been found to reduce frustration in users of interactive computer systems. This paper presents a preliminary study as a part of research aimed at designing and implementing an agent which detects negative emotions in a human user and expresses its own emotional reaction with the aim of improving the user’s mood and therefore their level of satisfaction in the context of a self-service interaction. We describe a study to determine customer facial expressions using facial Action Units (AUs) during interactions with self-service supermarket checkouts. Our preliminary results indicate that AU 23 and AU 24 were displayed with particular frequency.


Facial Expression Negative Emotion Behavioural Intention Emotional Intelligence Emotional Facial Expression 
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.



The researchers would like to thank the supermarket for allowing us to carry out the filming session. We would also like to thank the participant who kindly allowed us to use their image in this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher J. Martin
    • 1
  • Jacqueline Archibald
    • 1
  • Leslie Ball
    • 1
  • Lloyd Carson
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AbertayDundeeUK

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