GRACE – ANR Project

Description & objectives

GRACE (Groups’ Analysis for automated Cohesion Estimation) is a 3-years ANR funded project (April 2019 – April 2022) with the overall goal of developing a computational model of cohesion among humans able to integrate its task and social dimensions and also accounting for their relationship and their development over time.

The project encompasses the following scientific, technological, and community-building objectives:

Scientific objectives: to gain a deeper understanding of cohesion and, in particular, of the structural and temporal relationship between its major components, that is task and social components. Grounding on existing research in Social Sciences, GRACE will produce a relevant breakthrough by providing novel quantitative evidence to enhance our scientific knowledge on cohesion and to ground solid foundations for developing algorithms for its automated estimation.

Technological objectives: to investigate suitable technological solutions for collecting multimodal data from small groups. GRACE will explore several sensing platform settings by looking at the recent improvements in wearable motion-capture technology and computer-vision based algorithms for multiparty detection and tracking; to develop software modules for automatically estimating cohesion and its components, accounting also for the temporal dimension. This will offer new opportunities to develop, in the future, killer apps to enhance interaction among humans as well as among human and machines (e.g. virtual agents and robots).

Community-building objectives: to improve scientific exchanges among researchers with the final aim to contribute to build an interdisciplinary scientific community working on emergent states and sharing the same research questions and methodological workflows. This could significantly enhance the number and the quality of scientific collaborations and to provide bases for new scientific projects at national as well as European level.