Designing effective gaze mechanisms for virtual agents (Inproceedings)

Andrist, S., T. Pejsa, B. Mutlu, and M. Gleicher. “Designing Effective Gaze Mechanisms for Virtual Agents”. Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, ACM, 2012, pp. 705-14.


Virtual agents hold great promise in human-computer interaction with their ability to afford embodied interaction using nonverbal human communicative cues. Gaze cues are particularly important to achieve significant high-level outcomes such as improved learning and feelings of rapport. Our goal is to explore how agents might achieve such outcomes through seemingly subtle changes in gaze behavior and what design variables for gaze might lead to such positive outcomes. Drawing on research in human physiology, we developed a model of gaze behavior to capture these key design variables. In a user study, we investigated how manipulations in these variables might improve affiliation with the agent and learning. The results showed that an agent using affiliative gaze elicited more positive feelings of connection, while an agent using referential gaze improved participants’ learning. Our model and findings offer guidelines for the design of effective gaze behaviors for virtual agents.

DOI: 10.1145/2207676.2207777


	doi = {10.1145/2207676.2207777},
	url = {},
	year = 2012,
	publisher = {{ACM} Press},
	author = {Sean Andrist and Tomislav Pejsa and Bilge Mutlu and Michael Gleicher},
	title = {Designing effective gaze mechanisms for virtual agents},
	booktitle = {Proceedings of the 2012 {ACM} annual conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - {CHI} {\textquotesingle}12}