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Modeling Curiosity in Virtual Companions to Improve Human Learners' Learning Experience


Authors: Q. Wu, C. Miao, and C. Leung
Title: Modeling Curiosity in Virtual Companions to Improve Human Learners' Learning Experience
Abstract: A key design aspect for virtual learning companions is their believability. A lot of attention has been paid to emotion modeling which is at the core of believability. However, most of the existing emotion models neglect the epistemology-based emotions, which are knowledge-related emotions that affect the human learning process. Studies have shown that curiosity is an important epistemology-based emotion that positively influences social learning. Hence, modeling curiosity in learning companions may improve human learners’ learning experience in a virtual environment. However, existing curiosity models assume simplified cognitive processes and fail to capture multiple sources of curiosity stimuli. In this paper, we propose a novel model of curiosity for learning companions to capture salient curiosity stimuli through a psychologically inspired approach. Our model is built based on Berlyne’s theory and considers three most salient appraisal variables in a virtual learning environment, including novelty, surprise, and uncertainty. The model is built on plan-based knowledge representations augmented with planning. Two internal processes are modeled for learning companions to demonstrate curiosity: curiosity appraisal and learning. The proposed model of curiosity is implemented in a learning companion and evaluated through user studies. The evaluation results show that the learning companion’s curiosity significantly improves human learners’ learning experience from multiple aspects.
Keywords: Curiosity; Epistemology-based emotion; Learning companion; Virtual learning environment
Conference Name: 2015 IEEE/WIC/ACM International Joint Conferences on Web Intelligence and Intelligent Agent Technology (WI-IAT'15)
Location: Singapore, Singapore
Publisher: IEEE
Year: 2015
Accepted PDF File: Modeling_Curiosity_in_Virtual_Companions_to_Improve_Human_Learners_Learning_Experience_accepted.pdf
Permanent Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/WI-IAT.2015.242
Reference: Q. Wu, C. Miao, and C. Leung, “Modeling curiosity in virtual companions to improve human learners’ learning experience,” in Proceedings of the 2015 IEEE/WIC/ACM International Joint Conferences on Web Intelligence and Intelligent Agent Technology (WI-IAT’15). IEEE, December 2015, pp. 59–66.
bibtex: 
@inproceedings{LILY-c55, 
    author	= {Wu, Qiong and Miao, Chunyan and Leung, Cyril},
    title	= {Modeling Curiosity in Virtual Companions to Improve Human Learners' Learning Experience},  
    booktitle	= {Proceedings of the 2015 IEEE/WIC/ACM International Joint Conferences on Web Intelligence and Intelligent Agent Technology (WI-IAT'15)}, 
    year		= {2015}, 
    month	= {December}, 
    pages	= {59-66}, 
    location	= {Singapore, Singapore},
    publisher	= {IEEE},
 }