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This paper presents an audio-visual emotion database that can be used as a reference database for testing and evaluating video, audio or joint audio-visual emotion recognition algorithms. Additional uses may include the evaluation of algorithms performing other multimodal signal processing tasks, such as multimodal person identification or audio-visual speech recognition. This paper presents the difficulties involved in the construction of such a multimodal emotion database and the different protocols that have been used to cope with these difficulties. It describes the experimental setup used for the experiments and includes a section related to the segmentation and selection of the video samples, in such a way that the database contains only video sequences carrying the desired affective information. This database is made publicly available for scientific research purposes.