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The HUMAINE Centre


The Humaine Centre is a focus for research on new developments in computing that aim to match or mesh with distinctively human capacities, such as emotion, multimodal communication, and expressive communication. It was founded in 2007, and is directed by Professor Roddy Cowie.

External links

The Centre was founded as part of the European Network of Excellence HUMAINE. HUMAINE brought together 35 institutions, mainly from Europe, with a very wide range of academic backgrounds, but a common interest in ‘emotion-oriented computing’. Professor Cowie was the coordinator.

During the last year of the grant, the consortium established a voluntary organisation, the HUMAINE Association, which promotes research in emotion-oriented computing worldwide. It runs the biennial ACII conferences (previously held in Beijing 2005 and Lisbon 2007), and an award-winning portal.

The HUMAINE Centre is the administrative base of the HUMAINE Association. Current office-holders are

  • Professor Roddy Cowie (Queen’s University Belfast), President
  • Professor Jonathan Gratch (University of Southern California), President-elect
  • Professor Catherine Pelachaud (University of Paris 8), Secretary
  • Dr Marc Schroeder (DFKI, Saarbrucken), Portal editor
  • Professor Jianhua Tao (Beijing), ACII conference co-ordinator

For details of the Association, see the portal:

The main output of the Network can be found at:

The HUMAINE handbook, which is the first systematic guide to the field, was published by Springer in 2011.

The Team at QUB

The HUMAINE team at Queen’s, Belfast, includes staff and postgraduates from 4 Schools:


  • Professor Roddy Cowie
  • Dr Ian Sneddon
  • Dr Will Curran
  • Dr Paul Brunet
  • Dr Gary McKeown
  • Mr Chris Edgar
  • Mr Cian Doherty
  • Mr Gerard Breaden-Madden


  • Professor Ellen Douglas-Cowie

Music and Sonic Arts

  • Dr Paul Stapleton

Electrical and Electronic Engineering

  • Dr Ian O’Neil

Funded research associated with the centre

HUMAINE (2004-2007) EC Framework 6 Network of Excellence on emotion-oriented computing., PI: Roddy Cowie (QUB Psychology)

SEMAINE (2008-2010) EC Framework 7 STREP on emotion-oriented computing. PI: Marc Schroeder (DFKI, Saarbrucken)

CAPSIL (2008-2009) EC Framework 7 co-ordinated action on technology and aging. PI: Ben Knapp (QUB Sonic Arts)

SSPnet (2010 – 2014) EC Framework 7 network of excellence on Social Signal Processing

Ilhaire (2011 – 2014) EC Framework 7 STREP on laughter

Siempre (2010-2013) EC Framework 7 STREP on music and emotion

Selected publications

Edited collections

Julien Epps, Roddy Cowie, Shrikanth Narayanan, Björn Schuller, and Jianhua Tao (eds) Emotion and Mental State Recognition from Speech: Special issue of EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing 2012

P.Petta, C Pelachaud, R Cowie (eds) (2011) Emotion-oriented systems: the HUMAINE handbook Springer: Heidelberg 

E.Douglas-Cowie ( 2011) Area editor HUMAINE Handbook section on databases

J Taylor, K Scherer, R Cowie (2005) editors Neural Networks special issue on Emotion and the Brain 18(4), 313-455

E. Douglas-Cowie, R. Cowie & N. Campbell (2003) Editors Speech Communication special double issue of on 'Speech and Emotion' vols 40 (1-2), pp 1- 257.

R. Cowie, E. Douglas-Cowie & M. Schroeder (eds.). (2000). Speech and Emotion: Proceedings of the International Speech Communication Association Research Workshop. Newcastle, Co. Down, September 2000, pp. xvi + 224. Proceedings available online via International Speech Communication Association archive of past workshops at

Journal articles

Cowie, R., Douglas-Cowie, E., & Cox, C. (2005). Beyond emotion archetypes: databases for emotion modelling using neural networks. Neural Networks: 18, 371-388.

R Cowie and R. Cornelius (2003) Describing the Emotional States that are Expressed in Speech Speech Communication vol 40, 5-32.
E. Douglas-Cowie, N. Campbell, R. Cowie and P. Roach (2003). Emotional speech: towards a new generation of databases. Speech Communication vol 40, 33-60.

R. Cowie, E. Douglas-Cowie, N. Tsapatsoulis, G. Votsis, S. Kollias, W. Fellenz, J. Taylor (2001).Emotion Recognition in Human-Computer Interaction. IEEE Signal Processing Magazine January 2001. 32-80.

HS Lusted, RB Knapp (1996) Controlling computers with neural signals Scientific American 275:44, 82-87

M. A. Ortiz Pérez and R. Benjamin Knapp. “Biotools: Introducing a Hardware and Software Toolkit for Fast Implementation of Biosignals for Musical Applications”. Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark, August 25-29, 2007 to be published in Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume: Sense of Sounds, editors: Richard Kronland-Martinet, Sølvi Ystad and Kristoffer Jensen.

Antonio Camurri , Ginevra Castellano , Roddy Cowie , Donald Glowinski, Ben Knapp, Carol L. Krumhansl, Olivier Villon, Gualtiero Volpe. “The Premio Paganini Experiment : A Multimodal Gesture-based Approach for Explaining Emotional Processes in Music Performance”. Springer Lecture Notes on Computer Science, Volume: Proceedings of GW2007.

Rory Sobolewski, Brian OMullane, Ben Knapp, and Richard Reilly. “A Portable Neurological Monitor for Use in Cognitive Function Studies,” Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Engineering in Medicine and Biology, Lyon, France, August 2007.

M. A. Ortiz Pérez, R. Benjamin Knapp and M. Alcorn, “Díamair: Composing for Choir and Integral Music Controller”. Proceedings of the New Interfaces for Musical Expression 2007 Conference, New York, NY, June 7-9, 2007.

R. Benjamin Knapp and Perry R. Cook, “Creating a Network of Integral Music Controllers,” Proceedings of the New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) Conference, IRCAM, Paris, France, June 5-7, 2006.

R. Benjamin Knapp and Perry R. Cook, “The Integral Music Controller: Introducing a Direct Emotional Interface to Gestural Control of Sound Synthesis,” Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC), Barcelona, Spain, September 4-9, 2005.

R. Benjamin Knapp and Hugh S. Lusted, “Designing a Biocontrol Interface for Commercial and Consumer Mobile Applications: Effective Control within Ergonomic and Usability Constraints,” Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Human Computer Interaction, Las Vegas, NV, July 22-27, 2005


E.Douglas-Cowie The HUMAINE database (2007)

Devillers, L., Martin, J., Cowie, R., Douglas-Cowie, E., & Batliner, A. (2006). Proceedings of the workshop wp09 “corpora for research on emotion and affect”. satellite workshop of lrec 2006. In L. Devillers, J. Martin, R. Cowie, E. Douglas-Cowie, & A. Batliner (Ed.). Genoa, Italy