Multimodal Backchannel Generation for Conversational Agents

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

    64 Downloads (Pure)


    Listeners in face-to-face interactions are not only attending to the communicative signals being emitted by the speakers, but are sending out signals themselves in the various modalities that are available to them: facial expressions, gestures, head movements and speech. These communicative signals, operating in the so-called back-channel, mostly function as feedback on the actions of the speaker; providing information on the reception of the signals; propelling the interaction forward, marking understanding, or providing insight into the attitudes and emotions that the speech gives rise to. In order to be able to generate appropriate behaviours for a conversational agent in response to the speech of a human interlocutor we need a better understanding of the kinds of behaviours displayed, their timing, determinants, and their effects. A major challenge in generating responsive behaviours, however, is real-time interpretation, as responses in the back-channel are generally very fast. The solution to this problem has been to rely on surface level cues. We discuss on-going work on a sensitive artificial listening agent that tries to accomplish this attentive listening behaviour.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationMOG 2007
    Subtitle of host publicationWorkshop on Multimodal Output Generation: CTIT Proceedings
    EditorsIelke van der Sluis, Mariët Theune, Ehud Reiter, Emiel Krahmer
    Place of PublicationEnschede
    PublisherCentre for Telematics and Information Technology (CTIT)
    Number of pages12
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2007
    EventWorkshop on Multimodal Output Generation, MOG 2007 - University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom
    Duration: 25 Jan 200726 Jan 2007

    Publication series

    NameCTIT Workshop Proceedings
    ISSN (Print)1574-0846
    ISSN (Electronic)0929-0672


    WorkshopWorkshop on Multimodal Output Generation, MOG 2007
    Abbreviated titleMOG
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    CityAberdeen, Scotland


    • HMI-IA: Intelligent Agents
    • Listener responses
    • Backchannels
    • Head movements


    Dive into the research topics of 'Multimodal Backchannel Generation for Conversational Agents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this