Conference website http://iva2018.westernsydney.edu.au
Submission link https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=iva2018
Workshop proposals April 20, 2018
Demo submissions May 15, 2018
Industry Track Submissions May 15, 2018
Submission deadline May 15, 2018
GALA Video Submissions October 29, 2018
Topics: Theoretical foundations of virtual agentsagent modelling and evaluation, agents in games and simulations applications of virtual agents

IVA 2018 is the 18th meeting of an interdisciplinary annual conference and the main leading scientific forum for presenting research on modeling, developing and evaluating Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVAs) with a focus on communicative abilities and social behavior. IVAs are interactive digital characters that exhibit human-like qualities and can communicate with humans and each other using natural human modalities like facial expressions, speech and gesture. They are capable of real-time perception, cognition, emotion and action that allow them to participate in dynamic social environments.  In addition to presentations on theoretical issues, the conference encourages the showcasing of working applications.

Special Topic

IVA 2018’s special topic is ‘Virtual Agents in Games and Simulations’, which are agents that act as non-player characters (NPCs) in video games and agents that participate in game-like simulations and serious games. With this topic in mind we are seeking closer engagement with the gaming industry and expect submissions sharing industry wisdom in relation to building non-player characters in video games. We are also interested in papers discussing practical applications of virtual agents and technical details in relation to creating those for various types of simulations that feature virtual environments and avatars. Examples of such simulations are military training environments, historical simulations, educational simulations, medical simulations, etc.

Submission Guidelines

Full Papers, Short Papers and Poster Submissions : Research Track

Prospective authors are invited to submit full papers, short papers, or poster papers. The details about the maximum number of pages for each paper type will be provided at a later stage (around March 2018). All submissions should be anonymous. Detailed paper author instructions will be available on the IVA 2018 website (http://iva2018.westernsydney.edu.au/) around March 2018. All submissions should be made through the conference review system. Page limit for full paper is 8 pages, for short papers 7 pages. Please follow submission instructions.

Submission Deadline: Full papers, short papers and posters must be submitted by May 15, 2018 at 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time.

Demonstrations 

We welcome demonstrations to be shown during the conference showcasing your latest technology. Please submit a 2-page paper explaining your demonstration together with a short description including any requests for space or equipment before the deadline.

If your proposal is accepted you will be able to present your work in the allocated demo session during the confernce.

Submission Deadline: Demonstration proposals must be submitted by May 15, 2018 at 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time.

Workshops 

The IVA 2018 organizing committee solicits proposals for full-day and half-day workshops to be held in conjunction with the main conference. The purpose of a workshop is to provide an opportunity for participants from academia, industry, government and other related parties to present and discuss novel ideas on current and emerging topics relevant to intelligent virtual agents, their applications and emergent technologies. Workshops are scheduled for November 5, 2018.

Each workshop should be organized under a well-defined theme focusing on emerging research areas, challenging problems and industrial/governmental applications. Organizers have free control on the format, style as well as the building blocks of the workshop. Possible contents of a workshop include but are not limited to invited talks, regular papers/posters, panels, and other pragmatic alternatives. In case workshop proposers need extra time to prepare their workshop, early decisions may be considered if justified.

We would like to encourage organizers to avoid a mini-conference format by (i) encouraging the submission of position papers and extended abstracts, (ii) allowing plenty of time for discussions and debates, and (iii) organizing workshop panels.

Organizers of accepted workshops are expected to announce the workshop and disseminate their call for papers, maintain the workshop website, gather submissions, conduct the reviewing process and decide upon the final workshop program. They are also required to prepare an informal set of workshop proceedings to be distributed with the registration materials at the main conference, with a proceedings format template provided by IVA 2018. Workshop organizers may choose to form organizing or program committees aiming to accomplish these tasks successfully.

Workshop proposals should contain the following information:

  • The NAMES, AFFILIATIONS, and SHORT BIOS of all the organizers
  • The MAIN CONTACT organizer’s e-mail and telephone number
  • The TITLE of the workshop
  • A maximum of three paragraphs that describe the TOPIC of the workshop, its target AUDIENCE, and its RELEVANCE to IVA
  • One paragraph MOTIVATING the workshop (why we should organize it NOW in conjunction with IVA 2018)
  • Tentative names of invited speakers, reviewers, and panelists (if a panel will be organized)
  • The desired LENGTH of the workshop: full-day (~8 hours) or half-day (~4 hours)
  • Tentative PROGRAM SKETCH
    • For workshops previously held at IVA or other conferences, details on venue, attendance and number of submissions/accepted papers from past editions
    • For new workshops, a list of possible attendees/submissions and/or a justification of the expected attendees/submissions
    • Tentative descriptions of all other workshop components (panels, discussion sessions, poster sessions, invited talks,etc.)

Submission Deadline: Workshop proposals must be submitted by April 20, 2018 at 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time.

Industry Track

This is the first time we are running an Industry Track at IVA. The intention behind having the industry track is to provide industry professionals with a way to communicate with the academic community and share the results of their work. We expect to receive submissions in the form of case studies and papers sharing common practices and lessons learned in relation to Intelligent Virtual Agents. Papers targeting our special topic of Virtual Agents in Games and Simulations are particularly welcome. This track also highlights new research challenges motivated by applications of Intelligent Virtual Agents in the real world.

Submitted papers will go through a competitive peer review process. Types of papers, formatting and publication with be the same as for research papers. The Industry Track is distinct from the Research Track in that submissions solve real-world problems and focus on systems that are deployed or are in the process of being deployed. Below are indicative categories for industry track papers:

  • Deployed: Must describe deployment of a system that solves a non-trivial real-world problem. The focus should be on describing the problem, its significance, decisions and tradeoffs made when making design choices for the solution, deployment challenges, and lessons learned.
  • Discovery: Must include results that are discoveries with demonstrable value to an industry or government organization. This discovered knowledge must be “externally validated” as interesting and useful; it cannot simply be a model that has better performance on some traditional evaluation metrics such as accuracy or area under the curve. A new business insight enabled by the use of IVAs is an example of what this category will include.
  • Emerging: Submissions do not have to be deployed but must have clear applications to distinguish them from IVA research papers. They may also provide insight into issues and factors that affect the successful use and deployment of IVAs. Papers that describe enabling infrastructure for large-scale deployment of IVAs also fall in this category.
  • Case Studies: Should describe an interesting application of Intelligent Virtual Agents in an industry context. Case studies related to special topics of the conference “Virtual Agents in Games and Simulations” are particularly welcome.

Note: IVA is a dual track conference hosting both a Research track and an Industry track. Due to the large number of submissions, papers submitted to the Research track will not be considered for publication in the Industry track and vice-versa. Authors are encouraged to carefully read the track descriptions and choose an appropriate track for their submissions.

Submission Deadline: Industry track papers must be submitted by May 15, 2018 at 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time.

Competitions

We are pleased to present the first call for interactive competitons to the upcoming IVA 2018 Conference. Our intention is to provide researchers with a showcase for demonstrating how exciting and interesting Intelligent Virtual Agents can be. Therefore we are calling on academics and industry professionals who are willing to organise a particular competition to send us their proposals before the deadline.

What we expect from you is to have a particular topic in mind and send us a proposal explaining the rules of the competition and provide details explaining whether you will be providing some software or API that participants should use. If your proposal is accepted the competition will be announced to be held during the conference and you will be in charge of chairing this competition.

Submission Deadline: Competition proposals must be submitted by April 20, 2018 at 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time.

 

Video GALA 

IVA will also feature a video GALA, which is a video showcase of projects involving animated like-life agents.

The GALA, “Gathering of Animated Lifelike Agents,” is an annual festival to showcase the latest animated lifelike agents created by university students, academic and/or industrial research groups. The goals of the GALA are manifold: To provide a forum to present and evaluate the state-of-the-art in the technology of virtual humans and innovative applications; To disseminate research, by establishing an ever evolving GALA Gallery (a repository at a permanent web location) of virtual humans for study and re-use; To stimulate students to work on virtual agents. An international jury will select entries for the GALA Gallery. The presentation of the best entries and announcement of the awards will take place at the GALA Final, which is coupled with a prestigious conference each year. This year the GALA Final will take place at the 18th International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents – IVA 2018.

Submissions may include a short paper explaining the main contributions of the demo, and should include a small video illustrating the demo to be conducted at IVA. Submit a one page PDF with a description of the video and details of the encoding, author names, affiliations, and a download link.  The international jury will invite the selected entries to be demonstrated at the GALA Final in public, as well as a high quality version of the video for the GALA presentation.

See this link for examples of the Gala entries from IVA 2017: http://iva2017.org/videogala.html. The respective submission details for these events will be available nearer to the conference date and will be announced in upcoming calls for papers on the conference website (http://iva2018.westernsydney.edu.au).

Submission Deadline: GALA entries must be submitted by October 29, 2018 at 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time.

Keynote Speakers

Liko-Paul Pinsonnault, Technical Director at Wargaming Sydney

Mark Sagar, CEO of Soul Machines and Associate Professor at The University of Auckland

Mike Seymour, Co-founder of FxGuide and FxPhd, Lecturer at The University of Sydney

List of Topics

Agent modelling and evaluation 

  • design criteria and design methodologies
  • evaluation methodologies and user studies
  • ethical considerations and societal impact
  • applicable lessons from other fields (e.g. robotics)
  • improvisational or dramatic interaction
  • dimensions of intelligence, cognition and behavior
  • models of multimodal perception and action
  • models of emotionally communicative behavior
  • models of conversational behavior
  • models of narrative and storytelling
  • theoretical foundations and formal models
  • learned, evolved or emergent behavior

Agents in games and simulations with special focus on Applications of virtual agents

  • software engineering issues
  • real-time integrated systems
  • portability and reuse standards / measures to support interoperability
  • specialized tools, toolkits and tool chains
  • specialized modeling and animation technologies
  • applications in games, education, art, etc.
  • delivery platforms: desktop, single vs. multi-user, virtual or augmented or mixed reality, robots
  • future or current experience in various fields, e.g. Interactive narrative and story-telling, computer games, art and entertainment, education and training, simulation and visualization

Organising Committee

Conference Chairs 

  • Dr. Anton Bogdanovych, Western Sydney University
  • Prof. Deborah Richards, Macquarie University
  • Prof. Simeon Simoff, Western Sydney University

Program Chairs 

  • Catherine Pelachaud, CNRS – ISIR, Université Pierre et Marie Curie
  • Dirk Heylen, University of Twente
  • Tomas Trescak, Western Sydney University

Workshop Chair 

  • Hatice Gunes, University of Cambridge

Sponsorship Chair 

  • Kerry Holling, Western Sydney University

Posters & Demo Chair 

  • Dr. Tomas Trescak, Western Sydney University

Gala and Competitions Chair

  • Dave de Jonge, Western Sydney University

Webmaster 

  • Dr. Tomas Trescak, Western Sydney University

Senior Program Committee 

  • Stefan Kopp, Bielefeld University
  • Elisabeth André, University of Augsburg
  • Ruth Aylett, Heriot-Watt University
  • Timothy Bickmore, Northeastern University
  • Joost Broekens, Delft University of Technology
  • Dirk Heylen, University of Twente
  • Jill Lehman, Disney Research Pittsburgh
  • James Lester, North Carolina State
  • Stacy Marsella, Northeastern University
  • Yukiko Nakano, Seikei University Michael Neff, UC
  • Davis Ana Paiva, INESC-ID and University of Lisbon
  • Catherine Pelachaud, CNRS – ISIR, Université Pierre et Marie Curie
  • Laurel Riek, UC San Diego
  • Stefan Scherer, University of Southern California
  • Gabriel Skantze, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
  • Hannes Vilhjálmsson, Reykjavík University
  • Michael Young, University of Utah
Publication

In the past IVA proceedings have been published with Springer. For this year we are planning to migrate to ACM. We have applied for ACM sponsorship. The  outcome of our application should be known in February-March. Please visit this page again in March for detailed publisher information and submission guidelines.

Venue

The conference will be held on Level 9, Parramatta City Campus of the Western Sydney Univeristy, Australia. Parramatta City campus is a modern multi-storey building located in the heart of the historic Parramatta CBD, just a couple of minutes away from the Parramatta train station. Here is some information about this campus: https://www.westernsydney.edu.au/campuses_structure/cas/campuses/parramattacity/one_parramatta_square

Contact

All questions about submissions should be emailed to iva2018@scem.westernsydney.edu.au