An Architecture for Personality-based, Nonverbal Behavior in Affective Virtual Humanoid Character

Maryam Saberi, Ulysses Bernardet, Steve Dipaola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As humans we perceive other humans as individually different based – amongst other things – on a consistent pattern of affect, cognition, and behavior. Here we propose a biologically and psychologically grounded cognitive architecture for the control of nonverbal behavior of a virtual humanoid character during dynamic interactions with human users. Key aspects of the internal states and overt behavior of the virtual character are modulated by high-level personality parameters derived from the scientific literature. The virtual character should behave naturally and consistently while responding dynamically to the environment's feedback. Our architecture strives to yield consistent patterns of behavior though personality traits that have a modulatory influence at different levels of the hierarchy. These factors affect on the one hand high-level components such as ‘emotional reactions’ and ‘coping behavior’, and on the other hand low-level parameters such as the ‘speed of movements and repetition of gestures. Psychological data models are used as a reference to create a map between personality factors and patterns of behavior. We present a novel hybrid computational model that combines the control of discrete behavior of the virtual character moving through states of the interaction with continuous updates of the emotional state of the virtual character depending on feedback from interactions with the environment. To develop and evaluate the hybrid model, a testing scenario is proposed that is based on a turn-taking interaction between a human participant and a 3D representation of the humanoid character. We believe that our work contributes to individualized, and ultimately more believable humanoid artifacts that can be deploy in a wide range of application scenarios.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-211
JournalProcedia Computer Science
Publication statusPublished - 25 Dec 2014

Bibliographical note

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)


  • Cognitive Architecture
  • Nonverbal behavior
  • Personality
  • Five Factor Model
  • Personality traits
  • Hybrid Model
  • Hierarchical Approach


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