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Pasion: Project

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PROJECT DESCRIPTION

In the recent years, there has been a strong push toward the reduction of the general ineffectiveness of technological media in conveying social, emotional and contextual cues: interactions among individuals, both in large and small groups, suffer from the lack of these cues which are instead generally available in common face-to-face communication. PASION (Psychologically Augmented Social Interaction Over Networks) is an EU-funded project which specifically addresses this problem by “augmenting communication”. With the term “augmenting communication” we mean the use of peculiar characteristics and advantages of new media to gather information about social interactions, emotions, moods, context and places to use them in building cues or feedback which will be given or offered to PASION final users, enriching their interactions.

PASION aims at developing application services able to facilitate technology-mediated group communication and to increase the effectiveness and performance itself of the group. A fundamental point is that PASION will address specifically large networks of individuals in which communication is maintained on a long term basis (e.g. professionals, game players, virtual communities).

In order to achieve its goal, the PASION consortium organised its activities according to some guiding principles:

– basic research on the forms and patterns of mediated communication and on the role of implicit and non-verbal communication signals;

– systems for gathering and tracking information which would constitute the basis of augmented communication needs to be developed;

– PASION services need to be scalable: final users should be able to utilise them both on mobile phones and desktop PCs; an innovative architecture based on specific functional layers has been proposed and realised to accomplish this aim;

– PASION consortium will test the goodness of the services provided using two customised applications developed inside the project and belonging to two different fields: social gaming (see Familiars ) and knowledge work;

– Field living trials and a continuous cycle of ergonomic evaluations will provide insights, suggestions and possibilities for improvement of every part of the final PASION application and services;

– Given the potential treats for potential privacy infringement due to the nature of data used for augmenting communication, PASION consortium continuously interrogates itself about ethical guidelines which should lead the project.

PASION - Familiar game PASION KW application
Image taken from the game Familiar Image taken from the PASION KW application
WORK PACKAGES STRUCTURE

In order to accomplish their objectives, PASION activities have been divided into 5 work packages:

WP 1 (Management and dissemination) is involved into dissemination, management and exploitation activities. This WP is concerned with ethical issues and constraints the Project needs to address, in collaboration with the proposals and the possibilities offered by the other workpackages.

WP 2 (Foundations of mediated group interaction) aims at providing theoretical basis for the overall PASION project.

WP 3 (Technologies) is responsible for PASION architecture, planning development of sensors for behaviour tracking and data gathering systems, and for the design of augmented communication service.

WP 4(Application design) groups the developer and designer of the two customised application developed within the project, one in the field of social gaming and the other one in the field of knowledge working.

WP 5(Evaluation and trials) has three main goals: development and testing of concepts and scenarios, usability testing and evaluation of both applications and PASION services and interfaces, organisation and conduction of Living Trials (test of PASION product with final users).

PASION annex

Image taken from PASION annex

HTLAB SCIENTIFIC WORK DESCRIPTION

HTLab is involved mainly in four of the five workpackages composing the PASION project:

WP 1: HTLAB is involved into the PASION Ethical Committee and in the individuation of ethical risks and the provision of the derived constraints for PASION development.

WP 2.2 ( “Indexing of mediated communication and social interaction in everyday life”) The main goal of this WP is to define social communication indexes reflecting significant patterns of group interaction during mediated communication. Indexes need to fulfil two fundamental constraints: they need to be suitable for automatic recording and tracking and subsequent analysis processing.

Our approach combines both quantitative techniques (Social Network Analysis, Multivariate Analysis, Multilevel Models, Eye Movement Analysis) and qualitative techniques (video-analysis, conversation analysis, ethnographic observation).

WP 2.4 (“Envisioning Augmented Social Interaction”): HTLab is the general coordinator of this wp, which aims at producing an unified framework by offering a place where the units involved in the basic research integrate their efforts in a way that is valuable to the other units and, vice-versa, where the other units (applications, development and design) share their results to help refine the general scientific framework.

WP 3: Following the suggestion and the outcomes of WP2.2, our aim is to provide a theoretical framework able to – allow the development of technologies capable of tracking automatically user behavior (and in particular, user’s communication events) – individuate computational procedures able to extract significant information from this data – suggest format and modalities for providing this information to final users, with the constraint of understandability and effectiveness of these representations.

LINKS

Official Pasion Web Site

PASION on European Commission ICT Results

PASION fact sheet


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