Fourth International Workshop on Affective Computing in Requirements Engineering

A fully virtual workshop on September 21, 2021 in conjunction with RE’21.

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Affective computing spans a broad research field from the recognition to the expression of emotions, which is of interest for software systems as they are designed and used by humans. For requirements engineering (RE), understanding and utilizing personality traits, attitudes, moods, and emotions plays a crucial role in various facets, reaching from the consideration of individual professionals and team performance during RE activities to the utilization of end-user emotions as a means to validate requirements.


The AffectRE workshop aims at creating an international, sustainable community where researchers and practitioners can meet, present, and discuss their current work to affect the RE community with ideas from affective computing. In its fourth edition, this workshop fosters high-quality contributions about empirical studies, theoretical models, and tools that raise emotion awareness in RE.

Virtual workshop

The workshop will be fully virtual, making it easier for participants from all over the world to participate. As we expect participants to be constrained by various time zones, we aim for a half-day workshop. We intend to use to facilitate AffectRE, hoping to make it an interactive, dynamic format where participants can engage in ad-hoc discussions besides the presentations and keynotes.


From the perspective of end-users, awareness of emotions to be experienced by them is of utmost importance in RE and therefore emotional requirements should be addressed as first-class citizens. From requirements elicitation to negotiation, from modelling to prioritization, and from software design to implementation, different emotions arise and stakeholders’ cognitive states evolve differently.

The theme of the main conference puts a strong focus on contemporary problems that are centered around user feedback and its role for requirements. This emphasizes that end users are more and more involved in the RE process. With the AffectRE workshop, we want to shield a light on the emotions that accompany the users’ acceptance of a system, which can be expressed through both implicit and explicit reactions. The sentiment expressed together with their opinions helps to assess important topics and creates actionable insights. We envision that new and innovative products can further advance such approaches. AffectRE allows the reporting on insights and experiences with emerging techniques, products, and methods, which may be new to the RE community.

We need methods and artifacts that facilitate involving stakeholders in the activities of eliciting and modelling emotional requirements through appropriate approaches of participatory design, also known as co-design. Moreover, it is increasingly important to understand emotions and affects to be experienced by people within sociotechnical systems where users are viewed as parts of the system and artificial intelligence increasingly blurs the distinction between humans and technology. One way to study such systems is agent-based simulations of emotions and personality traits as it is cheaper than performing psychological experiments with humans. Such simulations also fall within the scope of the workshop.

Topics of Interest

We intend the workshop to be primarily a forum for presentation and discussion of:

  • New ideas identifying synergies between RE and affective computing, including emotions, affects, and cognition;
  • New research questions for the agenda of the community;
  • Affective computing approaches applied to RE;
  • Empirical studies' designs;
  • Preliminary results

This workshop addresses affective computing in RE. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Impact of affective and cognitive states (affects, emotions, moods, attitudes, personality traits) on individual and group performance, commitment and collaboration in RE;
  • Methods and artifacts for elicitation and modelling of emotional requirements, including the relevant ap- proaches of participatory design (co-design);
  • Leveraging stakeholders’ affective feedback to improve requirements, tools, and processes (e.g., capture and analyze the sentiment of users and community feedback, aspect-based sentiment analysis of product reviews);
  • Exploration of biometric sensors emerging from new (consumer) hardware which enable new measurement techniques to support the verification and validation of both functional and non-functional requirements;
  • Interaction between RE and other software lifecycle activities, such as testing, from emotional and cognitive perspectives (e.g., in the communication between requirements engineers and testers);
  • Design, development, and evaluation of frameworks and tools to support emotion and cognition awareness in RE;
  • Ethnographic approaches to monitor these topics in the workplace for RE projects;
  • Defining or adapting psychological models of affect to RE (e.g., understanding the trigger behind positive and negative emotions during the requirement engineering process, modelling coarse vs. fine-grained emotion);
  • Affective and cognitive state detection from the multi-modal analysis of spontaneous communicative behaviour, such as natural language, body postures and gestures, speech, or conversations;
  • Sensing from communication artifact (e.g., message boards, social media) and techniques/tools for extracting and summarizing emotions from such channels;
  • Interplay between affect and exogenous or endogenous workplace factors (e.g., physical location of the stakeholders, organizational hierarchy, adopted technologies);
  • Emotion and cognition awareness in cross-cultural stakeholder teams (e.g., in global software development);
  • Mutual emotion-awareness: affect display rule and how emotion display enhances/impairs trust, appreciation, co-operation, and other outcomes of RE activities;
  • Software frameworks, APIs, and patterns for designing and maintaining RE affect- and cognitive-aware systems (e.g., for integrating their sensing in requirements management tools).


We invite five types of contributions (all page limits include references):

  • Full research papers (up to 6 pages) describe original work, such as novel approaches or frameworks, which are supported by initial validation results. Empirical evaluations and industrial experience reports are welcomed as well.
  • Short position papers (up to 4 pages) describe a new idea or work in progress that is currently in an early development stage.
  • Extended abstracts (up to 2 pages) outline a research project or newly developed tools, techniques or datasets, which must be supported by a poster on the workshop day.
  • Promotional summaries(up to 2 pages) outline the use of established software or hardware for affective computing that may be new but of interest to the RE community. Authors should prepare an interactive presentation to promote and demonstrate why such software or hardware can be useful. This presentation should also contain a part that teaches how they can be used.
  • Interactive demonstrations (up to 2 pages) propose a demonstration of a newly developed tool during the workshop, in the form of an interactive experiment with workshop participants. Authors should explain the prototype as well as the intended experimental design. The experiment should not exceed a duration of 90min.

At least two members from the international program committee will review each submission. Papers will be evaluated based on their originality, relevance to the workshop, and their potential for discussion. The papers with the best reviews will be accepted to be presented in the workshop.

How to submit: All papers must be written in English, describe work that may not have been previously published, are currently not submitted elsewhere, and address at least one of the workshop topics of interest. The papers further must conform, at the time of submission, to the IEEE formatting instructions Papers must be submitted electronically in PDF format using EasyChair.

Accepted papers will be submitted for publication in the IEEE Digital Library as part of the joint RE'21 workshop proceedings if at least one author registers for and presents their work at the workshop. Also, presenters are expected to attend and actively participate in the entire workshop.


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us using our email addresses available on the websites linked below, or contact us via social media.

Organization Committee

James Tizard

James Tizard University of Auckland, New Zealand
Website, Twitter

Tim Rietz

Tim Rietz Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

Jil Kluender

Jil Kluender Leibniz University Hannover, Germany

Kelly Blincoe

Kelly Blincoe University of Auckland, New Zealand
Website, Twitter

Program Committee

  • Raian Ali, Hamad Bin Khalifa University (Qatar)
  • Fabiano Dalpiaz, Utrecht University (The Netherlands)
  • Giuseppe Destefanis, Brunel University (UK)
  • Davide Fucci, Blekinge Institute of Technology (Sweden)
  • Eduard C. Groen, Fraunhofer IESE (Germany)
  • Oliver Karras, Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology (Germany)
  • Seok-Won Lee, Ajou University (Republic of Korea)
  • Kashumi Madampe, Monash University (Australia)
  • Anas Mahmoud, Luisiana State University (USA)
  • Antonette Mendoza, The University of Melbourne (Australia)
  • Nicole Novielli, University of Bari (Italy)
  • Kurt Schneider, Leibniz University Hannover (Germany)
  • Alexander Serebrenik, Eindhoven University of Technology (The Netherlands)
  • Paola Spoletini, Kennesaw State University (USA)
  • Jordi Vallverdú, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain)


Our program committee selected a total of three papers to be presented at the workshop. Thus, the program comprises a number of interesting talks, interactive discussions, and an exciting keynote.
The workshop lasts from 8.00 am to 1.00 pm (EDT), respectively from 2.00 pm to 7.00 pm (CEST). The link for the participation will be provided via e-mail.
Start (CEST) Topic Chair
02.00 Welcome from the Organizers James
02.30 Invited Talk: The Potential and Challenges of Personality Detection in Software Engineering Research
Fabio Calefato, University of Bari
Short Break (20min)
03.30 Paper Presentation: From Textual to Verbal Communication: Towards Applying Sentiment Analysis to a Software Project Meeting
Marc Herrmann, Jil Klünder
04.00 Paper Presentation: Theory of Constructed Emotion Meets RE
Kuldar Taveter and Tahira Iqbal
04.30 Long Break (45min)
05.15 Paper Presentation: Explainable Persuasion in Interactive Design
Deniz Cemiloglu, Maris Catania, and Raian Ali
05.45 Discussion Tim


Title: The Potential and Challenges of Personality Detection in Software Engineering Research
by Fabio Calefato, University of Bari

Abstract: After gaining more and more awareness that Software Engineering is a socio-technical effort, there has been an increasing and strong push for studying the “softer” and more “social” aspects concerning software engineers and how these influence their activities. In this talk, I will look at the potential of studying the personality of software engineers when doing SE research. Based on a recent study, however, I will also underline the limitation regarding the current state of the art and draw the necessary steps to start overcoming the existing barriers to reliably applying personality detection to SE research.

Important Dates
Deadlines are due at 23:59 AoE.

Paper Submission: July 1, 2021 Extended
Author Notification: July 23, 2021
Camera-Ready Submission: August 12, 2021

Workshop Day: September 21, 2021

Important Links
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