Joint Dual-Tasking in VR: Outlining the Behavioral Design of Interactive Human Companions Who Walk and Talk with a User

Andrea Bönsch, Torsten Wolfgang Kuhlen
To be presented at: IEEE Virtual Humans and Crowds for Immersive Environments (VHCIE), 2020

To resemble realistic and lively places, virtual environments are increasingly often enriched by virtual populations consisting of computer-controlled, human-like virtual agents. While the applications often provide limited user-agent interaction based on, e.g., collision avoidance or mutual gaze, complex user-agent dynamics such as joint locomotion combined with a secondary task, e.g., conversing, are rarely considered yet. These dual-tasking situations, however, are beneficial for various use-cases: guided tours and social simulations will become more realistic and engaging if a user is able to traverse a scene as a member of a social group, while platforms to study crowd and walking behavior will become more powerful and informative. To this end, this presentation deals with different areas of interaction dynamics, which need to be combined for modeling dual-tasking with virtual agents. Areas covered are kinematic parameters for the navigation behavior, group shapes in static and mobile situations as well as verbal and non-verbal behavior for conversations.

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