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Soumya Barathi

Dr Soumya Barathi


School of Computer Science and Informatics

+44 29225 12348
Abacws, Room Room 3.54, Senghennydd Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF24 4AG
Available for postgraduate supervision


I have a strong interdisciplinary research background covering Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), health, engineering, and psychology. I build interactive immersive media applications and use psychophysical training techniques such as gamification to enhance performance, adherence, and user experience. I devise and test novel, robust multi-sensor approaches to track, analyse, and visualise user perception and experience of digital applications, reflected in their emotions (affective states) at run time. I use experimental analytical techniques to investigate correlates of affective states while using digital interventions.

My research goal is to develop interactive personalised digital applications that are capable of providing optimal user experience by adapting themselves according to the user's affective state. My current research investigates the use of virtual reality exercise controlled games (VR active games) to motivate healthy and sustainable exercise behaviour. My primary research interests are:

Active Gaming;
Immersive Media Applications;
Affective Computing.


My research publications: 

Affect Recognition using Psychophysiological Correlates in High Intensity VR Exergaming Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems;

Recognising the affective state of VR exergame players could enable us to personalise and optimise their experience. However, affect recognition based on psychophysiological measurements for high intensity VR exergames presents challenges as the effects of exercise and VR headsets interfere with typical measurements. This paper presents novel predictors of affect based on gaze fixations, eye blinks, pupil diameter, and skin conductivity for affect recognition in high intensity VR exergaming.

Guidelines for A ect Elicitation and Tracking in High Intensity VR Exergaming; Momentary Emotion Elicitation and Capture Workshop at CHI 2020 Conference

This position paper on VR exergaming provides an overview of advances made in affect elicitation and tracking. It outlines guidelines for evoking underwhelming, overwhelming, and optimal affective states and tracking the affective state using psychophysiological measurements in high intensity VR exergaming. It discusses the research challenges that need
to be addressed to implement affectively adaptive high intensity VR exergaming.

Interactive Feedforward for Improving Performance and Maintaining Intrinsic Motivation in VR Exergaming
Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems;

This paper presents a novel method called interactive feedforward, which is an interactive
adaptation of the psychophysical feedforward training method where rapid improvements in
performance are achieved by creating self-models showing previously unachieved performance
levels. Interactive feedforward was evaluated in a cycling-based VR exergame where players
interacted and competed with their self-model at real-time in a VR experience. Interactive
feedforward led to improved exercise performance while maintaining intrinsic motivation.


I am the module leader of CM6121 AND CM6621, Fundamentals of Computing with Java.


I was a Marie Curie Fellow with Industrial Research Enhancement (FIRE) researcher in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Bath. I was awarded the FIRE fellowship via a competitive international process. I was also an active member of the CAMERA (Centre for the Analysis of Motion, Entertainment Research & Applications) team and I have worked alongside health researchers, computer scientists, and psychologists. I hold a PhD in human computer interaction and my research was on VR active gaming. My PhD research focused on improving exercise performance, maintaining motivation, and tracking user experience while using VR active games. 

I developed innovative Virtual Reality Exercise controlled gaming applications including novel instrumentation techniques to monitor the user’s experience reflected by their emotional state (affective state) while using them. I was accepted into the highly competitive Entrepreneur First (EF) programme which has an acceptance rate of less than 3%. I am now a lecturer at Cardiff University.


My primary research interests are:

Active Gaming;
Immersive Media Applications;
Affective Computing.