Intelligent Virtual Agents 1999

Matt Folkard (matt@shelob.iti.salford.ac.uk)
Fri, 14 May 1999 04:52:25 +0200 (MET DST)

Workshop on Intelligent Virtual Agents (Virtual Agents 99)

One day workshop prior to and in
association with the UK VR SIG 99 Conference

The Centre for Virtual Environments
University of Salford,
Salford, United Kingdom

13th September 1999

Sponsored By
Simulation Solutions Ltd, VR News, NICVE
http://www.salford.ac.uk/cve/va99/

Introduction
----------------

The field of Virtual Agents is a new and emerging area that is starting to make
its way out of research and into the commercial world. The area brings together
two disciplines, the field of visualization covering areas such as 3D graphics,
virtual reality, computer animation, and multimedia, and the field of agents,
both within Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Artificial Life (ALIFE).

Only recently has the price and power of computers made virtual agents a viable
option to explore scientifically. Despite being a relatively new field of
research,
large strides have been made in a short time. Lately there has been a marked
increase in interest with virtual agents in diverse industries such as
entertainment, education, engineering, and film.

At the 13th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence (ECAI98), a very
successful workshop was held on Intelligent Virtual Environments. Participants
felt a follow-up workshop should be organised in 1999 and since a major theme
had been that of Virtual Agents, this was chosen as the theme of the
forthcoming
workshop.

People researching virtual agents tend to come from either the visualization or
agent community. The two communities have much to learn from each other, if
wheels are not to be reinvented on both sides. This workshop aims to bring
these
two communities together to discuss the current state-of-the-art in virtual
agents,
together with leading international keynote speakers, and to create a roadmap
for
the future of this technology.

Topics of interest include (but not limited to)
----------------------------------------------------------------

Virtual and physical agent interaction Perception in virtual agents
Augmented virtual agents Intelligent virtual actors
Emotionally driven synthetic characters Novel applications of virtual agents
New tools and technologies for the building
of virtual agents Human interaction with virtual agents
(e.g. voice recognition)
The use of virtual agents for training Virtual agents in shared worlds
Biologically inspired virtual agents Virtual ecosystems

Paper Submission
--------------------------
If you are interested in contributing please send an extended abstract 1000 -
2000
words. Extended abstracts and final papers should be sent electronically, in
Word,
HTML or Postscript to: va99@angmar.iti.salford.ac.uk. Final papers should be
about
4000 words. The deadlines for submission are given below.

Demonstrations and Exhibits
-------------------------------------------
An opportunity will exist for people to demonstrate their work. To give us time
to
organise the floor space and technical requirements we would like to be notified
before the 6th August, contact us for details of resources available:
va99@angmar.iti.salford.ac.uk.

Attendance and Registration
------------------------------------------
To encourage discussion and interaction there are a limited number of places, so
early registration is recommended. Anyone with an interest in virtual agents may
attend - it is not necessary to submit a workshop paper in order to attend but
people who do will get priority.

Registration is NOW free but all delegates wishing to attend should send a short
position statement highlighting their research or interest in virtual agents.
Position papers not more than half a side of A4 should be sent in plain text or
HTML only to: va99@angmar.iti.salford.ac.uk.

Lunch, morning and afternoon tea/coffee, and a copy of the proceedings will be
provided. It is not necessary to register for the UK VR-SIG on the 14th and
15th of September, if you only wish to attend the virtual agent workshop.

Programme Committee
--------------------------------------
Ruth Aylett, Centre for Virtual Environments, - Programme
Chair
Daniel Ballin, Centre for Virtual Environments
Marc Cavazza, University of Bradford, UK
Dave Cliff, Hewlett Packard Labs
Kerstin Dautenhahn, University of Reading, UK
Chris Hand, Napier University, UK
Mike Luck, University of Warwick, UK
Divine Ndumu, Bristish Telecommunications Laboratories
Paolo Petta, Austrian Research Institute for Artificial
Intelligence
Peter Wavish, Philips Research Labs, Redhill
Mark Wells, Televirtual, Norwich
Christopher Winter, Cyberlife Technology Ltd

Keynote Speaker
--------------------------
Professor Demetri Terzopoulos
Department of Computer Science
University of Toronto

Professor Terzopoulos does pioneering work in artificial life, an emerging field
that cuts across computer science and biological science. He devises computer
models of animal locomotion, perception, behaviour, learning and intelligence.
Demetri Terzopoulos and his students have created artificial fishes, virtual
inhabitants of an underwater world simulated on a powerful computer. These
autonomous, lifelike creatures swim, forage, eat and mate on their own.
Demetri Terzopoulos has also done outstanding work on human facial modelling.
He and his co-workers have produced what is widely recognised as the most
realistic biomechanical model of the human face to date. Expressive synthetic
faces are useful in entertainment, human- computer interaction, planning
reconstructive facial surgery, automated face recognition, and teleconferencing
systems. Demetri Terzopoulos is widely known as the inventor of deformable
models,
a family of shape modelling algorithms that have bridged the fields of computer
vision and computer graphics and have opened up new avenues of research in
medical
imaging and computer-aided design.

Audio / Visual
---------------------
An overhead projector will be provided, as well as a TV-video (PAL-VHS) and
laptops
(PC and Mac) running PowerPoint. Please notify us prior the workshop if you need
these.

If you have any other hardware requirements please contact us, and we will try
and
accommodate them.

Important Dates
------------------------
Submission of Extended Abstracts 11th June 1999
Notification re: Extended Abstracts 16th July 1999
Proposals for Demonstrations/Exhibits 6th August 1999
Submission of camera-ready full papers 20th August 1999
Deadline for registration 20th August 1999
Intelligent Virtual Agents workshop 13th September 1999

Publication
-----------------
All contributions will be considered for later publication in a special journal
issue, details of this will follow.

Sponsorship
-------------------
Intelligent Virtual Agents 99 is offering the opportunity for organisations to
promote themselves by sponsoring part of VA99. Sponsorship will ensure the
highest
visibility for the benefactor, through the use of the sponsor's logo on
conference
material and through appearance of the sponsor's name in references to the
workshop, both before and after the event. Potential sponsors should contact
Daniel Ballin at the contact address below.

Contact person
----------------------
Daniel Ballin,
The Centre for Virtual Environments
Business House
University of Salford,
Salford
M5 4WT, UK
Email: d.ballin@iti.salford.ac.uk
Tel: +44-(0)161-295-2918
Fax: +44-(0)161-295-2925
http://www.salford.ac.uk/cve/va99/

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