Explanation-Based Negotiation Protocol for Nutrition Virtual Coaching

Berk Buzcu*, Vanitha Varadhajaran, Igor Tchappi, Amro Najjar, Davide Calvaresi, Reyhan Aydoğan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


People’s awareness about the importance of healthy lifestyles is rising. This opens new possibilities for personalized intelligent health and coaching applications. In particular, there is a need for more than simple recommendations and mechanistic interactions. Recent studies have identified nutrition virtual coaching systems (NVC) as a technological solution, possibly bridging technologies such as recommender, informative, persuasive, and argumentation systems. Enabling NVC to explain recommendations and discuss (argument) dietary solutions and alternative items or behaviors is crucial to improve the transparency of these applications and enhance user acceptability and retain their engagement. This study primarily focuses on virtual agents personalizing the generation of food recipes recommendation according to users’ allergies, eating habits, lifestyles, nutritional values, etc. Although the agent would nudge the user to consume healthier food, users may tend to object in favor of tastier food. To resolve this divergence, we propose a user-agent negotiation interacting over the revision of the recommendation (via feedback and explanations) or convincing (via explainable arguments) the user of its benefits and importance. Finally, the paper presents our initial findings on the acceptability and usability of such a system obtained via tests with real users. Our preliminary experimental results show that the majority of the participants appreciate the ability to express their feedback as well as receive explanations of the recommendations, while there is still room for improvement in the persuasiveness of the explanations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPRIMA 2022
Subtitle of host publicationPrinciples and Practice of Multi-Agent Systems - 24th International Conference, Proceedings
EditorsReyhan Aydoğan, Natalia Criado, Victor Sanchez-Anguix, Jérôme Lang, Marc Serramia
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9783031212024
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Event24th International Conference on Principles and Practice of Multi-Agent Systems, PRIMA 2020 - Valencia , Spain
Duration: 16 Nov 202218 Nov 2022

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume13753 LNAI
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference24th International Conference on Principles and Practice of Multi-Agent Systems, PRIMA 2020

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


Dive into the research topics of 'Explanation-Based Negotiation Protocol for Nutrition Virtual Coaching'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this