Automatic prediction of frustration

Ashish Kapoor, Winslow Burleson, Rosalind W. Picard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Predicting when a person might be frustrated can provide an intelligent system with important information about when to initiate interaction. For example, an automated Learning Companion or Intelligent Tutoring System might use this information to intervene, providing support to the learner who is likely to otherwise quit, while leaving engaged learners free to discover things without interruption. This paper presents the first automated method that assesses, using multiple channels of affect-related information, whether a learner is about to click on a button saying "I'm frustrated." The new method was tested on data gathered from 24 participants using an automated Learning Companion. Their indication of frustration was automatically predicted from the collected data with 79% accuracy (chance = 58 %). The new assessment method is based on Gaussian process classification and Bayesian inference. Its performance suggests that non-verbal channels carrying affective cues can help provide important information to a system for formulating a more intelligent response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)724-736
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Human Computer Studies
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2007


  • Affect recognition
  • Affective Learning Companion
  • Intelligent Tutoring System
  • Learner state assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Education
  • General Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Hardware and Architecture


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