MPML: A markup language for controlling the behavior of life-like characters

Helmut Prendinger*, Sylvain Descamps, Mitsuru Ishizuka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


Animated agents have the potential to convey information in a more natural way than other media traditionally used on the world-wide web, such as text, audio, or video clips. They also allow for more natural styles of human-computer interaction than navigation through hypertext documents. In this paper, we will introduce the multi-modal presentation markup language (MPML), which is a powerful and easy-to-use XML-style language enabling content authors to script rich web-based interaction scenarios featuring life-like characters. MPML is a powerful language as it provides controls for the verbal and non-verbal behavior of affective 2D cartoon-style characters, presentation flow, and the integration of external objects, like Java applets. MPML is easy-to-use since we also offer a graphical scripting environment (a visual editor) that facilitates the creation of complex presentation scripts. We will describe the tagging structures of MPML, the MPML3.0 Visual Editor, and illustrate the usefulness of the tagging structures of the language by the actual implementation of a web-based casino where the user may interact with life-like characters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-203
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Visual Languages and Computing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Apr
Externally publishedYes


  • Affective communication
  • Embodied agents
  • Markup languages
  • Visual editor
  • Web-based presentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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