Sooraj Krishna

Modelling communicative behaviours for different roles of pedagogical agents


Sooraj Krishna is a PhD student at L’Institut des Systèmes Intelligents et de Robotique (ISIR), Sorbonne University, Paris working with Dr. Catherine Pelachaud on the ESR2 ANIMATAS project. He comes from Kerala, India which is a place known for its cultural heritage and lush greenery. His research interests are in the areas of HRI and HCI, and include Experience design, HRI, Virtual reality and humanitarian applications of the technology. He holds a Masters in Robotics and Automation and has worked at AMMACHI Labs, India, as a researcher, conducting various studies in HRI and VR. His recent works were ‘HRI in the Wild in Rural India’ and Virtual reality based skill training simulators. Drawing inspiration from fiction, art and science, he likes to dream, design and build ideas and likes the company of passionate people to collaborate with. Passionate about design and music, he loves to discover places and meet people as well.

Main host institution

Sorbonne Université (SU)


Catherine Pelachaud (SU), in association with Arvid Kappas (JacobsUni)

Second institution

Jacobs University (JacobsUni); ICT


Studies have shown that having several (virtual/physic) agents playing different roles (e.g., tutor, mentor, classmate, helper) enhances learning and motivation of the students18. Each agent type brings an expertise, creates unique social relationship with students. Depending on their role, agents have specific goals and beliefs as well as attitudes toward the students in the classroom. They focus on different aspects of student development and life in a classroom. Their role is reflected through their communicative and emotional behaviours and how they interact with others. This ESR project will aim to model agent/robot with different roles with a specific focus on their multimodal behaviours and their social interaction strategies. The behaviour of each agent will also be adapted to the attitudes and the emotions of the interaction partners, be other agents or students. Several agents/robots will act in a classroom, with a single student or group of students. This ESR will also study the impact on students’ learning and motivation when interacting with a group of agents with different roles.

Expected results

Completed PhD dissertation, integration in the VIB platform for human-agent interaction, peer-reviewed publications in ACII, IVA, AAMAS, IEEE TAC, IJHCS.