• Laughter and Other Non-Verbal Vocalisations Workshop 2020

    15-16 June 2020 - Bielefeld, Germany

    © Universität Bielefeld

Laughter Workshop 2020


Non-verbal vocalisations in human-human and human-machine interactions play important roles in displaying social and affective behaviors and in controlling the flow of interaction. Laughter, sighs, filled pauses, and short utterances such as feedback responses are among some of the non-verbal vocalisations that have been studied previously from various research fields. However, much is still unknown about the phonetic or visual characteristics of non-verbal vocalisations (production/encoding) and their relations to their intentions and perceived meanings (perception/decoding) in interaction. Furthermore, with the increased interest for more naturalness in human-machine interaction, it would be worthwile exploring how these phenomena can be integrated in speech applications.

Following the previous workshops on laughter held in Saarbrücken (2007), Berlin (2009), Dublin (2012), Enschede (2015) and Paris (2018), we have the pleasure to announce the next edition of the workshop in Bielefeld, Germany, in June 2020.


The goal of this series of workshops is to bring together scientists from diverse research areas and to provide an exchange forum for interdisciplinary discussions in order to gain a better understanding of laughter and other non-verbal vocalisations. The workshop consists of invited talks, oral and poster presentations of ongoing research.

Important Dates

Submission opens: 14 January 2020

Submission deadline: 14 February 2020 29 February 2020

Acceptance notification: 31 March 2020

Workshop registration deadline: 01 June 2020

Workshop: 15-16 June 2020

Submission Procedure

Researchers are invited to submit short papers or abstracts (max. 4 pages, including references) describing their work, including work in progress. All submissions should use the ACL template. Submission website: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=lw-2020.

Each submission will be reviewed by at least two reviewers. Accepted papers will be made available online.

Submission website


Invited Speakers

Khiet Truong (University of Twente)

Title: Automatic analysis of laughter in social interaction

Abstract: Since it is becoming more and more common to talk to a device, the need for methods to make this interaction more smooth, enjoyable and natural increases. Spoken language is more than just words. The way people talk not only reveals information about their age, sex, or region they are from, it also reveals information about one’s socio-affective, mental, and physical state. If agents can automatically extract this kind of information from the way the user talks, this will help regulate human-agent interaction and opens up opportunities for innovative talking agents. In this talk, I will present an overview of our work on human-human/agent interaction and socially interactive technology, and the role of laughter in our research.


Short bio: Khiet Truong is an assistant professor in the Human Media Interaction group, University of Twente. Her interests lie in the automatic analysis and understanding of verbal and nonverbal (vocal) behaviors in human-human and human-machine interaction, and the design of socially interactive technology to support human needs. Having a background in speech communication, her main focus is on analysing the vocal modality of expression, in addition to the visual (e.g. facial expressions, eye gaze) and physiological modalities in social interaction. Khiet holds a master in Computational Linguistics (Utrecht University) and a PhD in Computer Science (University of Twente). During her PhD carried out at TNO, she investigated emotion recognition in speech and automatic laughter detection. She is serving on numerous program committees and has chaired positions in major conferences such as Interspeech, ACM ICMI, ICASSP, and ACII. Website: http://khiettruong.space


Greg Bryant (UCLA)

Programme Committee

Nick Campbell (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland)

Kevin El Haddad (Mons University, Belgium)

Jonathan Ginzburg (Paris Diderot University, France)

Dirk Heylen (University of Twente, Netherlands)

Bogdan Ludusan (Bielefeld University, Germany)

Gary McKeown (Queen's University Belfast, United Kingdom)

Catherine Pelachaud (National Centre for Scientific Research, France)

Magdalena Rychlowska (Queen's University Belfast, United Kingdom)

Jürgen Trouvain (Saarland University, Germany)

Khiet Truong (University of Twente, Netherlands)

Petra Wagner (Bielefeld University, Germany)

Organizing Committee

The workshop is organized as a collaboration between researchers from Bielefeld University, Bogdan Ludusan and Petra Wagner, and Queen's University Belfast, Magdalena Rychlowska and Gary McKeown.



Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology

Inspiration 1, 33619 Bielefeld, Germany

Click here to download the workshop flyer.

For further information or questions regarding the workshop you can contact the organizers at the following email address: laughterWorkshop2020@gmail.com


The workshop has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 799022.