Journal article

Modeling Dominance in Group Conversations using NonVerbal Activity Cues

Dominance - a behavioral expression of power - is a fundamental mechanism of social interaction, expressed and perceived in conversations through spoken words and audio-visual nonverbal cues. The automatic modeling of dominance patterns from sensor data represents a relevant problem in social computing. In this paper, we present a systematic study on dominance modeling in group meetings from fully automatic nonverbal activity cues, in a multi-camera, multi-microphone setting. We investigate efficient audio and visual activity cues for the characterization of dominant behavior, analyzing single and joint modalities. Unsupervised and supervised approaches for dominance modeling are also investigated. Activity cues and models are objectively evaluated on a set of dominance-related classification tasks, derived from an analysis of the variability of human judgment of perceived dominance in group discussions. Our investigation highlights the power of relatively simple yet efficient approaches and the challenges of audio-visual integration. This constitutes the most detailed study on automatic dominance modeling in meetings to date.

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