STSM WG2 (Janneke van der Zwaan)

Start Date: 2010-05-01

End Date: 2010-06-30

Host Institution: INESC-ID Lisboa

Host Country: Portugal

Home Institution: University of Technology TU Delft

Home Country: The Netherlands


This short-term scientific mission is proposed as part of the Cyberbullying project. The goal of the Cyberbullying project is to protect and empower children and adolescents against bullying in online virtual environments by designing and implementing social, legal and technological measures. Our focus lies on the technological part.
The research concerns the development of methods and models for interface-based interventions to support anti-cyberbullying activities. Specifically, interventions in the form of intelligent virtual characters will be considered. The Fearnot Affective Mind Architecture (FAtiMA) is an architectural model for implementing
autonomous virtual characters that reason and behave according to their emotional state and personality. Certain characteristics of this model, such as affective reasoning and the ability to learn from past behavior, seem suitable for implementing interface-based interventions for protecting and empowering children against cyberbullying.
Most online communities have formulated rules and regulations about how users should behave themselves. When cyberbullying occurs, the norms of the online community are violated. Norms provide a base to deal with violations and should be taken into account when designing anti-(cyber)bullying measures. The aims of the visit are (1) to investigate the possibilities of using FAtiMA as a base for an anti-cyberbullying and/or buddy agent that implements
interventions against cyberbullying, (2) to investigate the role of norms in the agent’s behaviour and (3) to investigate the way in which trust can be build between the child and the agent buddy. Implemented interventions are based on expert’s approaches of supporting and empowering victims of cyberbullying. Exactly which
interventions are implemented will be specified prior to the visit.
The resulting prototype will be used to assess the suitability of using FAtiMA to create an anti-bullying agent. In addition, it will be used to demonstrate the kind of technological measures against cyberbullying we have in mind. This visit will result in a common publication on the design of the anti-cyberbullying agent.

STSM report