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Towards an Ontology for Describing Emotions


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The study of emotion in human beings has traditionally been a research interest area in disciplines such as psychology and sociology. The appearance of affective computing paradigm has made it possible to include findings from these disciplines in the development of affective interfaces. Still, there is a lack of applications that take emotion related aspects into account. This situation is mainly due to the great amount of proposed theoretical models and the complexity of human emotions. Besides, the importance that mobile computing area is acquiring has made necessary to bear context related aspects in mind. The proposal presented in this paper is based on a generic ontology for describing emotions and their detection and expression systems taking contextual and multimodal elements into account. The ontology is proposed as a way to develop a formal model that can be easily computerized. Moreover, it is based on a standard, the Web Ontology Language (OWL), which also makes ontologies easily shareable and extensible. Once formalized as an ontology, the knowledge about emotions is used in order to make computers more accessible, personalised and adapted to user needs.

Published in: Technology, Education

Towards an Ontology for Describing Emotions

  1. 1. Towards an Ontology for Describing Emotions 1 st World Summit of the Knowledge Society WSKS’08 Juan Miguel López 1 , Rosa Gil 1 , Roberto García 1 , Idoia Cearreta 2, Nestor Garay 2 1 Universitat de Lleida, Spain 2 University of the Basque Country, Spain September 25, 2008 Athens, Greece
  2. 2. Table of Contents <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Describing Emotion </li></ul><ul><li>Ontologies for Emotion </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul><ul><li>Future Work </li></ul><ul><li>Conceptual Model </li></ul><ul><li>Emotions Ontology </li></ul><ul><li>Use Case </li></ul>
  3. 3. Introduction <ul><li>Human beings are eminently emotional </li></ul><ul><li>Affective computing : detect and response to user's emotions </li></ul><ul><li>Great variety of theoretical models of emotions </li></ul><ul><li>Emotions are not universal (cultural, language and individual particularities)  Context influence </li></ul><ul><li>Focus (reduce complexity): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Emergent E motion : states where the person’s whole system is caught up in the way they react to a particular person or situation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Just emotion detection and expression systems, not internals of emotion processing in humans </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Introduction <ul><li>Objectives: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Generic approach to define context-aware emergent emotions taking different theoretical models into account </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Guide for flexible design of multimodal affective applications with independence of the starting model and the final way of implementation </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Describing Emotion <ul><li>Most common cognitive models of emotions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Categorical (Ekman, 1984) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dimensional (Lang, 1979)  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Appraisal (Scherer, 1999) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Emotion expression systems: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Verbal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Behavioural (e.g. facial or postural) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Psycho-physiological (e.g heart rate) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Emotional processing levels: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Emotional context (location, time, activity, devices and person) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emotion itself </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Associated multimodal behaviours </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Ontologies for Emotion <ul><li>Semantic lexicon in the field of feelings and emotions (Mathieu, 2005) </li></ul><ul><li>Emotional annotation with WordNetAffect (Strapparava and Valittutti, 2004) </li></ul><ul><li>Ontology of affective states for context aware applications (Benta et al., 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>User context model (Cearreta et al., 2007) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Table of Contents <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Describing Emotion </li></ul><ul><li>Ontologies for Emotion </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul><ul><li>Future Work </li></ul><ul><li>Conceptual Model </li></ul><ul><li>Emotions Ontology </li></ul><ul><li>Use Case </li></ul>
  8. 8. Conceptual Model <ul><li>Independent from psychological theories </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No interpretation of emotions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No emotion triggering mechanism model </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Multimodality: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Incorporates Lang’s three expression systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Input through senses (humans) and sensors (computers) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Model context: individual, social and environmental </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on Emergent Emotion, base of human affectiveness </li></ul>
  9. 9. Conceptual Model “ physical world” “ mental world”
  10. 10. Emotions Ontology <ul><li>Formalisation of the conceptual model </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible and extensible (accommodate different theories) </li></ul><ul><li>Web-wide sharable : Web Ontology Language (OWL) </li></ul><ul><li>Enrich by reusing upper ontologies </li></ul><ul><li>DOLCE , Descriptive Ontology for Linguistic and Cognitive Engineering (Gangemi et al., 2002) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Context representation: Description & Situation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other generic concepts </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Emotions Ontology
  12. 12. Emotions Ontology <ul><li>DOLCE provides generic terms for modelling context </li></ul><ul><li>Enormous range of situations that might be associated with emotions </li></ul><ul><li>FrameNet : formalisation of a enormous linguistic base, based on Frames: </li></ul>Lexical Unit Frame LU Status Lexical Entry Report Annotation Report score.n Cardinal_numbers Created LE   score.n Behind_the_scenes Finished_Initial LE Anno score.v Getting Created     score.v Damaging Created LE   scores.n Quantity Finished_Initial LE Anno
  13. 13. Emotions Ontology Scenario &quot;Torres scored a winning goal in the last minute&quot; describes triggers Emergent Emotion Description score - Recipient  &quot;Torres&quot; - Result  &quot;winning&quot; - Theme  &quot;goal&quot; - Time  &quot;in the last minute&quot;
  14. 14. Use Case <ul><li>Emotion-aware Tangible User Interface </li></ul><ul><li>Interface: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sensors: microphone, camera and buttons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expression: display and speaker </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Situations  Descriptions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ playing a song” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ displaying a picture” </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Use Case <ul><li>Emergent Emotion: sadness, happiness, anger, calm, worry, relaxed, boredom and surprise </li></ul><ul><li>Training: recognize user emotional response to some situations </li></ul><ul><li>Then, make user experience more pleasant </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If detected sadness play songs and/or display images associated to a happy user response </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Table of Contents <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Describing Emotion </li></ul><ul><li>Ontologies for Emotion </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul><ul><li>Future Work </li></ul><ul><li>Conceptual Model </li></ul><ul><li>Emotions Ontology </li></ul><ul><li>Use Case </li></ul>
  17. 17. Conclusions <ul><li>Generic model for describing emotions and their detection and expression systems taking contextual and multimodal elements into account </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cognitive interpretation of emotions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Independence from emotion theories </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Formalised as a Web Ontology </li></ul><ul><li>Reuse DOLCE and FrameNet </li></ul>
  18. 18. Future Work <ul><li>Extending the ontology beyond emergent emotion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Affective states and emotions in social networks </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Extend emotion-aware application based on Tangible User Interfaces </li></ul><ul><li>Make computers more accessible, personalised and adapted to user needs </li></ul>
  19. 19. Thank you for your attention Roberto García [email_address]