A Review of Emotion Recognition Methods from Keystroke, Mouse, and Touchscreen Dynamics

Liying Yang, Sheng-feng Qin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Emotion can be defined as a subject’s organismic response to an external or internal stimulus event. The responses could be reflected in pattern changes of the subject’s facial expression, gesture, gait, eye-movement, physiological signals, speech and voice, keystroke, and mouse dynamics, etc. This suggests that on the one hand emotions can be measured/recognized from the responses, and on the other hand they can be facilitated/regulated by external stimulus events, situation changes or internal motivation changes. It is well-known that emotion has a close relationship with both physical and mental health, usually affecting an individual’s and a team’s work performance, thus emotion recognition is an important prerequisite for emotion regulation towards better emotional states and work performance. The primary problem in emotion recognition is how to recognize a subject’s emotional states easily and accurately. Currently, there are a body of good research on emotion recognition from facial expression, gesture, gait, eye-tracking, and other physiological signals such as speech and voice, but they are all intrusive and obtrusive to some extent. In contrast, keystroke, mouse and touchscreen (KMT) dynamics data can be collected non-intrusively and unobtrusively as secondary data responding to primary physical actions, thus, this paper aims to review the state-of-the-art research on emotion recognition from KMT dynamics and to identify key research challenges, opportunities and a future research roadmap for referencing. In addition, this paper answers the following six research questions (RQs): (1) what are the commonly used emotion elicitation methods and databases for emotion recognition? (2) which emotions could be recognized from KMT dynamics? (3) what key features are most appropriate for recognizing different specific emotions? (4) which classification methods are most effective for specific emotions? (5) what are the application trends of emotion recognition from KMT dynamics? (6) which application contexts are of greatest concern?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162197-162213
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Access
Early online date1 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


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