Workshop on Collaborations with Domain Experts for Virtual Agent Research
Call For Papers
In virtual agent research, collaborating with domain experts, or researchers whose specialty lies outside of the virtual agent literature or computer science in general is not uncommon. Interdisciplinarity is widely recognized as an important and desirable characteristic in scientific research. However, while the importance of interdisciplinary research is clear, engaging in interdisciplinary research is still considered “risky” because of issues inherent to connecting two or more fields. These can include extra cognitive effort on the part of the researcher to understand ideas from other disciplines, a sense of frustration, conflict, and even difficulty for publication reviewers in evaluating interdisciplinary works .
The goal of this workshop is to discuss and identify best practices in collaborative research efforts, supporting communication and determining success metrics with domain experts or researchers whose specialty lies outside of the virtual agent literature or computer science in general. Example questions of interest include:
How do I (a virtual agent researcher) explain technical limitations to domain expert collaborators so that appropriate expectations are created?
How can domain expertise best be leveraged in the development process of new virtual agents?
What existing frameworks (Agile, Kanban, etc.) or tools (Trello, Github, etc.) have been used by other researchers in successful collaborations?
The target audience for this workshop is anyone who is interested in starting or improving collaboration with domain experts. We hope researchers in the community will offer guidance on their past experiences in collaborating with domain experts so that researchers both new and experienced to domain expert collaborations can benefit.
In this interactive workshop, we want to tackle this agenda in lively discussions, framed by short lightning talks of the accepted extended abstracts. Participants can posit their statements and/or discussions in an extended abstract (max 3 pages, including references).
The special topic of this year’s Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA) conference focuses on exploring the connections between computer science, robotics, and psychology, as information from each of these disciplines greatly informs the design, implementation, and use of virtual agents. However, critical to the connections of these disciplines is the collaboration of interdisciplinary researchers working together to produce or evaluate virtual agent technology. We hope to contribute to the discussion of the special topic by better equipping virtual agent researchers to form connections with colleagues across disciplines.
 Leahey, E., Beckman, C. M., & Stanko, T. L. (2017). Prominent but Less Productive: The Impact of Interdisciplinarity on Scientists’ Research *. Administrative Science Quarterly, 62(1), 105–139. https://doi.org/10.1177/0001839216665364