Paramoji - A parametric emoji

What is a paramoji?

A paramoji is a parametric smiley face that represents facial expressions on continuous scales. Unlike widespread emojis the paramojis are not defined for discretely defined states. Instead, emotinal expressions are rendered from five parameters that can be freely selected. They can be used to visualize manually selected, automatically detected or computationally generated emotions with accuracy and with arbitrary nuances. The resulting emoji style icons are expressive, exaggerated and playful. Their emotional content can be easily recognized by humans.

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What emotions can be represented with the paramoji?

The paramoji parameterizes facial expressions with a wide variety of emotional expressions. They can represent the seven universal emotions defined by Paul Ekman with reasonable completeness. Here are the author's pick for those emotions. You can click the image to create your own variations of those expressions.


How can paramojis be mixed?

All facial expressions are generated from continuous parameters. They can be interpolated into each other with arbitrary mixtures. With a slight exception in the contempt dimension all graphical parameters are linearly dependent on the five input parameters. This linearity ensures that the facial expressions can be smoothly interpolated into each other without jumps or unintended easing.

paramoji animation

What are the five dimensions of the paramoji?

The paramoji renders from five meaningful parameters:

  1. Valence is the axis from bad to good, misery to pleasure, disagreement to agrement.
  2. Arousal is the axis from calm to aroused, inactive to active, sleepy to alarmed.
  3. Dominance is the axis from weakness to strength, fear to anger, submission to dominance.
  4. Contempt is the axis from neutral to smug, vain, disdainful and contempt.
  5. Control is the axis from uncontrolled to controlled, expressed to suppressed.

With these dimensions the paramoji is able to express the emotional dimensions of the Circumplex model of affect and the PAD model of emotional states.

How can I use paramojis on my website?

The easiest way to link the image directly as shown below. You can set the request parameters for five paramoji dimensions from 0 to 100. Optionally you can set the size parameter to get a fixed size image.

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The source code is licensed as MIT and can be accessed here:

You can use the paramoji editor to find suitable parameters. To really leverage the power of paramojis these parameters must of course be dynamically derived or computed.

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I want to read more about the emotional theory behind it

The research is under review to be published. The preprint is here:

Are there any similar solutions?


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