Journal article

Privacy-sensitive recognition of group conversational context with sociometers

Recognizing the conversational context in which group interactions unfold has applications in machines that support collaborative work and perform automatic social inference using contextual knowledge. This paper addresses the task of discriminating one conversational context from another, specifically brainstorming from decision-making interactions, using easily computable nonverbal behavioral cues. Privacy-sensitive mobile sociometers are used to record the interaction data. We hypothesize that the difference in the conversational dynamics between brainstorming and decision-making discussions is significant and measurable using speaking activity-based nonverbal cues. We characterize the communication patterns of the entire group by the aggregation (both temporal and person-wise) of their nonverbal behavior. The results on our interaction data set show that the floor-occupation patterns in a brainstorming interaction are different from a decision-making interaction, and our method can obtain a classification accuracy as high as 87.5%.

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