IWSDS2020 Special Session: Dialogue systems for mental e-health


  • Zoraida Callejas, Universidad de Granada (Spain)
  • Raquel Justo, Universidad del País Vasco (Spain)
  • María Inés Torres, Universidad del País Vasco (Spain)
  • Raymond Bond, Ulster University (Northern Ireland)
  • Anna Esposito, Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli (Italy)


This special session aims to bring together researchers and practitioners from academia and industry working on the multidisciplinary area of conversational systems for mental e-health. While most dialogue systems are designed for utilitarian purposes, e.g. make a booking in a restaurant, enabling spoken dialogue between human and machines can also have a great potential to enhance users’ wellbeing. In particular, dialogue-based applications can be a feasible and effective tool to foster mental health due to their flexibility and naturalness. These applications are beginning to be used in mental health for reminding, encouraging, tracking, offering support or even providing interventions. For this special session we will welcome papers that address any of the wide range of scientific and technical challenges related to the use of dialogue systems for mental e-health, including aspects related to natural language and speech processing, knowledge management, emotion/sentiment analysis, dialogue management, user modelling, user experience design as well as practical issues such as corpora acquisition and annotation, user involvement and evaluation.

Topics of interest:

  • Conversational systems for mental health
  • Anxiety and depression recognition from speech and dialogue cues
  • Dialogue management for mental health monitoring and emotional support
  • Modelling the user’s emotional state
  • Definition of communicative styles and system persona
  • Eliciting rapport, trust, empathy and long-term interactions in mental e-health dialogue systems
  • Corpora for the development of mental e-health dialogue systems
  • Co-creation and user involvement in mental e-health system design
  • Evaluation and users’ perception of mental e-health applications

Tentative program:

  • Presentation of accepted papers, Q&A
  • Roundtable on trends and future perspective of dialogue systems for mental e-health

Scientific committee:

  • Leila Ben Letaifa, University of the Basque Country, Spain
  • Raymond Bond, Ulster University, Northern Ireland, UK
  • Zoraida Callejas, University of Granada, Spain
  • Gennaro Cordasco, Università della Campania, “Luigi Vanvitelli”, Italy
  • Anna Esposito, Università della Campania, “Luigi Vanvitelli”, Italy
  • Milan Gnjatovic,  University of Novi Sad, Serbia
  • David Griol, University of Granada, Spain
  • Kristiina Jokinen, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan
  • Raquel Justo Blanco, University of the Basque Country, Spain
  • Maria Koutsombogera, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
  • Michael McTear, Ulster University, Northern Ireland, UK
  • Maurice Mulvenna, Ulster University, Northern Ireland, UK
  • Costanza Navarretta, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Maria Teresa Riviello, Università della Campania, “Luigi Vanvitelli”, Italy
  • Manés Torres Barañano, University of the Basque Country, Spain
  • David Sztaho, Budapest Institute of Technology and Economics, Hungary
  • Alda Troncone, Università della Campania, “Luigi Vanvitelli”, Italy
  • Carl Vogel, Trinity College of Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  • Huiru (Jane) Zheng, Ulster University, Northern Ireland, UK

Important dates, style and formatting

  • The instructions for authors and submission site can be found here: IWSDS
  • Dates:
    • Paper submission deadline: EXTENDED: January 25, 2020 (23:59 Pacific Standard Time, GMT -8)
    • Paper notification deadline: February 23, 2020
    • Camera ready papers due: March 8, 2020
    • Early bird registration ends: March 13, 2020

Accepted papers:

  • A Content and Knowledge Management System for Supporting Emotion Detection from Speech.  B. Vu, M. Develasco, R. Bond, R. Turkington, F. Booth, M. Mulvenna, M. Fuchs, M. Hemmje, P. McKevitt.
  • Anaylisis of Prosodic Features during Cognitive Load in Patients with Depression. C. Martínez Antón, S. Kontaxis, M. Posadas-de Miguel, E. García, S. Siddi, J. Aguiló, J. M. Haro, C. de la Cámara, R. Bailón, A. Ortega.
  • Co-creating requirements and assessing end-user acceptability of a voice-based chatbot to support mental health: a thematic analysis of a living lab workshop. A. Benítez-Guijarro, R. Bond, F. Booth, Z. Callejas, E. Ennis, A. Esposito, M. Kraus, G. McConvey, M. McTear, M. Mulvenna, C. Potts, L. Pragst, R. Turkington, N. Wagner, H. Zheng.
  • Development of a dialogue system that supports recovery for patients with schizophrenia. O. Chiaki, N. Shin-Ichi, K. Jokinen, N. Takuichi.