Towards a multiscale QoE assessment of mediated social communication

Alexander Toet, Tina Mioch, Simon N.B Gunkel, Omar Niamut, Jan B.F. van Erp*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Modern immersive multisensory communication systems can provide compelling mediated social communication experiences that approach face-to-facecommunication. Existing methods to assess the quality of mediated social communication experiences are typically targeted at specific tasks or communication technologies. As a result, they do not address all relevant aspects of social presence (i.e., the feeling of being in the presence of, and having an affective and intellectual connection with, other persons). Also, they are typically unsuitable for application to social communication in virtual (VR), augmented (AR), or mixed (MR) reality. We propose a comprehensive, general, and holistic multi-scale (questionnaire-based) approach, based on an established conceptual framework for multisensory perception, to measure the quality of mediated social communication experiences. Our holistic approach to mediated social communication (H-MSC) assessment comprises both the experience of Spatial Presence (i.e., the perceived fidelity, internal and external plausibility, and cognitive, reasoning, and behavioral affordances of an environment) and the experience of Social Presence (i.e., perceived mutual proximity, intimacy, credibility, reasoning, and behavior of the communication partners). Since social presence is inherently bidirectional (involving a sense of mutual awareness) the multiscale approach measures both the internal (‘own’) and external (‘the other’) assessment perspectives. We also suggest how an associated multiscale questionnaire (the Holistic Mediated Social Communication Questionnaire or H-MSC-Q) could be formulated in an efficient and parsimonious way, using only a single item to tap into each of the relevant processing levels in the human brain: sensory, emotional, cognitive, reasoning, and behavioral. The H-MSC-Q can be sufficiently general to measure social presence experienced with any (including VR, AR, and MR) multi-sensory (visual, auditory, haptic, and olfactory) mediated communication system. Preliminary validation studies confirm the content and face validity of the H-MSC-Q. In this paper, we focus on the underlying concepts of the H-MSC-Q. We make the initial draft questionnaire available to the community for further review, development, and validation. We hope it may contribute to the unification of quality measures for mediated social communication.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4
Pages (from-to)1-22
JournalQuality and User Experience
Issue number1
Early online date14 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022


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