Emotion Incubator Group Charter

The mission of the Emotion Incubator Group, part of the Incubator Activity, is to investigate the prospects of defining a general-purpose Emotion annotation and representation language, which should be usable in a large variety of technological contexts where emotions need to be represented.

Join the Emotion Incubator Group.

End date 10 July 2007
Confidentiality Proceedings are public
Initial Chairs Marc Schröder
Sponsoring Members
Usual Meeting Schedule Teleconferences: Monthly
Face-to-face: 1-2 per year (more on meetings)


Emotion-oriented (or "affective") computing is gaining importance as interactive technological systems become more sophisticated. Representing the emotional states of a user or the emotional states to be simulated by a user interface requires a suitable representation format. Although several non-standard markup languages containing elements of emotion annotation have been proposed, none of these languages have undergone thorough scrutiny by emotion researchers, nor have they been designed for generality of use in a broad range of application areas.

The Emotion Incubator Group will discuss and propose scientifically valid representations of those aspects of emotional states that appear to be relevant for a number of use cases. The group will condense these considerations into a formal draft specification.

The Incubator Group is proposed by members of the European Network of Excellence HUMAINE, which carries out interdisciplinary research on the foundations of emotions in human-machine interaction. The XG can thus build on substantial scientific work which has already been carried out within HUMAINE (in particular, a proposal for an Emotion Annotation and Representation Language), so that the XG can be expected to produce tangible results within one year. Several of the group sponsors are HUMAINE members, so that the XG can draw on HUMAINE expertise; at the same time, the majority of the sponsors are not affiliated with HUMAINE, showing that the XG is very open to participation by other interested W3C members.


A report that describes the work done by the XG. The report will provide:

Through consultation with potential users as well as experts on emotion research, the XG will investigate whether a sufficient degree of normation can be achieved at this stage, and whether the resulting specification can add value to other markup languages, e.g. in the form of a specialised plug-in language. Accordingly, the group will either terminate its activity after its lifetime or continue in the more formal Recommendation Track.


Contexts which may benefit from such a carefully designed emotion markup language can already be found in current W3C activities, such as the W3C working draft EMMA, and the W3C recommendations VoiceXML and SSML. Additional contexts in which emotions play an important role are likely to emerge with the increase of the ubiquitous web and increasingly natural multi-modal interfaces.


In an effort to minimize costs, face to face meetings will be co-located with other meetings that a significant number of participants are attending. Regular meetings will be held monthly using the W3C's Zakim telephone/IRC facility. The mailing lists will provide an important part of the communication both internally and externally.


This group primarily conducts its work on the public mailing list public-xg-emotion@w3.org (archive) . The group's Member-only list is member-xg-emotion@w3.org (archive)

Information about the group (deliverables, participants, face-to-face meetings, teleconferences, etc.) is available from the Emotion Incubator Group home page.

Decision Policy

As explained in the Process Document (section 3.3), this group will seek to make decisions when there is consensus. When the Chair puts a question and observes dissent, after due consideration of different opinions, the Chair should record a decision (possibly after a formal vote) and any objections, and move on.

Patent Policy

This Incubator Group provides an opportunity to share perspectives on the topic addressed by this charter. W3C reminds Incubator Group participants of their obligation to comply with patent disclosure obligations as set out in Section 6 of the W3C Patent Policy. While the Incubator Group does not produce Recommendation-track documents, when Incubator Group participants review Recommendation-track specifications from Working Groups, the patent disclosure obligations do apply.

Incubator Groups have as a goal to produce work that can be implemented on a Royalty Free basis, as defined in the W3C Patent Policy.

For more information about disclosure obligations for this group, please see the W3C Patent Policy Implementation.

About this Charter

This charter for the Emotion Incubator Group has been created according to the Incubator Group Procedures documentation. In the event of a conflict between this document or the provisions of any charter and the W3C Process, the W3C Process shall take precedence.

Marc Schröder <schroed@dfki.de>, Emotion Incubator Group Chair
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