IVA’22 at a Glance

This year’s edition of IVA, the ACM international conference on intelligent virtual agents, has come to an end. For the first time in three years, IVA was organized as an in-person conference and it was great to see the community gathered again! We thank all of those that made this event possible: the organizing teams, presenters, and participants.

Now that the event has finished let’s recap!


This year’s Special Topic was Developing, Authoring, and Deploying Multi-IVA Environments, but we had submissions on many other pressing topics for the IVA community (see Word Cloud below). Our Program Committee worked hard to review and evaluate each submission and put together a quality program. We were very happy to see new faces joining the IVA community with new and exciting ideas on how to move the field forward. I believe we can say that the Doctoral Consortium (DC) was a success! Furthermore, we also received multiple submissions for the Demos, and the Industry track, making IVA’22 an all-around complete conference. Here are some of the numbers of this year’s submissions:

  • 21 accepted full papers out of 51 submissions (acceptance rate of 41.2%)
  • 13 accepted extended abstracts
  • 12 DC participants
  • 10 system and applications demonstrations

Get to know all the accepted papers, the demonstrations, the DC submissions, and the tutorials presented.

81 participants from all over the world registered for the event, of which 79 attended in person. 42 participants attended the tutorials and/or doctoral consortium.

Word Cloud

As a curiosity and to better interpret the submitted articles, we created two word clouds based on the abstracts of the submissions. The first selects words that are present more than five times in all submitted abstracts. The second selects the top 50 words from the abstracts of the accepted papers. We hope this brings you some food for thought!

Best Paper

Among all the submissions, the Program Committee selected the one paper that encapsulated the best features of research and methodology. This year’s best paper is:

Virtual Backlash: Nonverbal expression of dominance leads to less liking of dominant female versus male agentsJanet Wessler, Tanja Schneeberger, Leon Christidis and Patrick Gebhard

See all the accepted papers and the best paper nominees here.

GALA Winner

This year’s GALA, “Gathering of Animated Lifelike Agents,” offered us a fun and interesting winner. This submission provoked us to think about what we can and cannot achieve with state-of-the-art technology and its impact on Human-IVAs interactions, with a pinch of humor (one of the goals of GALA). The winner was A GPT Walks into a Bar by Alon Shoa. Watch their submission below:

Invited Speakers

We had two phenomenal Invited Speakers that presented us with their hindsight based on past research and provoked us to think about new ways of moving forward.

Picture of Ruth Aylett
Ruth Aylett

Ruth Aylett

Professor of Computer Science at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and member of the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics

“Expressive behavior, social signals,
and embodiment”

Picture of Claudio Pinhanez
Picture of Claudio Pinhanez

Claudio Pinhanez

Director of Conversational Intelligence research in the Laboratory of IBM Research (Brazil) and Deputy Director of the C4AI, Center for Artificial Intelligence

“New Challenges and Opportunities
in Conversational Agents”

Furthermore, for the first time, the Intelligent Virtual Agent conference distinguished a member of its community with the “Distinguished Service Award for Work of Excellence in Intelligent Virtual Agents”. The award was attributed to Ruth Aylett, in recognition of her contributions to the field throughout her career.


Last but not least, we have to retrace our stay in Faro, Portugal. Faro has the most important infrastructures and public services existent in the Algarve region. Furthermore, multiple islands surround the city and are places of excellence where you can take a pleasant walk in the natural surroundings of the Ria Formosa Nature Park.

The University of Algarve was our host for the whole week and we were presented with very warm weather. The Gambelas campus is placed in a pine forest and offers many comforts to its students.

Social Event

In every IVA there is a social event, this year is no exception. The social event is (as the name suggests) an occasion to socialize in a more relaxed and informal setting. We choose the Cidade Velha (Old Town) of Faro to bring us closer and teach us a bit of its history.

Participants enjoyed two traditions of Portugal, Fado music and the fish dish of Cataplana. Fado is a music genre that can be traced to the 1820s in Lisbon, Portugal, but probably has much earlier origins. In popular belief, Fado is a form of music characterized by mournful tunes and lyrics, often about the sea or the life of the poor, and infused with a sentiment of resignation, fate, and melancholy. Cataplana is an item of cookware used to prepare Portuguese dishes but is also the name of a typical seafood dish. The Cataplana utensil steams the ingredients during the final part of the cooking process, giving the dish a unique taste.

It’s a Wrap

This brings the conference to an end. We hope this short recap interests you and helps you have a better look at the event as a whole. See you next year!