Divesh Lala

I am currently a third year PhD candidate in Nishida Lab. I am originally from New Zealand, after graduating from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in information systems. My research interests include artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction, in particular using technology to measure and analyze body movement communicative acts between humans and artificial agents.

The agents I develop are what I term dynamic interactive agents. They navigate around the virtual world and switch between individual and collaborative tasks. A human interacting with a dynamic interactive agent must use their body to signal intentions and collaborate effectively.

I am the main developer of the VISIE system, which aims to create a virtual environment in which the user can interact naturally without the need for any kind of peripheral such as a keyboard and mouse. My current use of VISIE is to produce a virtual basketball game. In this game, humans can play basketball solely through the use of their body, through a Kinect sensor and a foot pressure pad.

Videos of my research:

First prototype of immersive environment

Virtual basketball

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqi_B50B32g&list=UU7iV-w5LGcy4d3wRgNWXRmw

Conference Papers:

D. Lala, C. Nitschke and T. Nishida (2015). “User perceptions of communicative and task-competent agents in a virtual basketball game”, ICAART 2015, Lisbon, Portugal, Jan. 10-12, 2015

D. Lala, Y. Mohammad and T. Nishida (2014). “A joint activity theory analysis of body interactions in multiplayer virtual basketball”, 28th British Human Computer Interaction Conference, Southport, UK, Sept. 9-12, 2014.

D. Lala, C. Nitschke and T. Nishida (2014). “Enhancing Communication Through Distributed Mixed Reality”, 8th International Workshop on Human Aspects in Ambient Intelligence, Warsaw, Poland, Aug. 11-14, 2014.

D. Lala, Y. Mohammad and T. Nishida (2013). “Unsupervised gesture recognition system for learning manipulative actions in virtual basketball”, 1st International Conference on Human-Agent Interaction, Hokkaido, Japan, Aug. 7-9, 2013.

D. Lala and T. Nishida (2013). “Modeling Communicative Virtual Agents Based on Joint Activity Theory”, 12th IEEE International Conference on Cognitive Informatics and Cognitive Computing, New York, USA, Jul. 16-18, 2012.

D. Lala and T. Nishida (2012). “Joint Activity Theory as a Framework for Natural Body Expression in Autonomous Agents”, 1st International Workshop on Multimodal Learning Analytics, Santa Monica, CA, Oct. 26, 2012.

D. Lala and T. Nishida (2012). “A Collaborative Pointing Experiment for Analyzing Bodily Communication in a Virtual Immersive Environment”, 11th IEEE International Conference on Cognitive Informatics and Cognitive Computing, Kyoto, Japan, Aug. 22-24, 2012. (best paper award)

D. Lala and T. Nishida (2011). “VISIE: A Spatially Immersive Interaction Environment Using Real-Time Human Measurement”, International Conference on Granular Computing 2011, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Nov. 8-10, 2011.

D. Lala, S. Thovutikkul and T. Nishida (2011). “Towards a Virtual Environment for Capturing Behavior in Cultural Crowds”, International Conference on Digital Information Management. Melbourne, Australia, Sept. 26-28, 2011.

D. Lala and T. Nishida (2011). “The Interpretation of Emotion Based on Gestural Parameters and Culture”, Workshop On Culturally Motivated Virtual Characters (CMVC 2011). Reykjavik, Iceland, Sept. 14th, 2011.

S. Thovuttikul, D. Lala, H. Ohashi, S. Okada, Y. Ohmoto and T. Nishida (2011).  “Simulated Crowd: Towards a Synthetic Culture for Engaging a Learner in Culture-dependent Nonverbal Interaction”, 2nd Workshop on Eye Gaze in Intelligent Human Machine Interaction at IUI 2011. California, USA, Feb. 13th, 2011.

D. Lala and T. Nishida (2010). “The Design of Model-based Agents and a Gaming Environment to Analyze and Express Trust Behavior”, in 9th International Workshop on Social Intelligence Design. London, UK, Sept. 13-16, 2010.

D. Lala & T. Nishida (2010). “Development of a game simulation to analyze coalitions in agents”, in Cybernetics and Systems 2010.

Journals:

D. Lala & T. Nishida (2014). “Modeling Agent Interactions using Common Ground Knowledge from a Joint Activity Theory Perspective”, International Journal of Software Science and Computational Intelligence, 5(4). (to appear)

D. Lala & T. Nishida (2012). “A Collaborative Pointing Experiment for Analyzing Bodily Communication in Virtual Immersive Environment”, International Journal of Software Science and Computational Intelligence, 4(3). pp. 1-19.