project 00.05

Multimodal Dialogue Systems for Industrial Applications


Project goals

Related activities

Industrial cooperation


Scientific production

Project goals

The project aims at investigating dialogue models for multi-modal interaction and realize prototype implementations for various types of such systems. Models and knowledge on multi-modal interaction, is of vital importance for any industrial company developing future information systems. The focus of our research is on development of:

  • Guidelines for multi-modal interaction. With the increasing availability of information on the Internet, for instance using cellular phones and lap top computers as a complement to `normal' computer interaction we need knowledge on how to design for interaction using various modalities and interaction media. As we already have established techniques for conducting such experiments we can extend our work to new applications and evaluate the results in order to develop guidelines for multi-modal interaction for various classes of applications and modalities. We will especially investigate how various types of spoken feedback influences the user experince in a multimodal dialogue system.
  • Investigations on the use of novel modalities in multimodal interaction. We will especially investigate the use of eye gaze as an input modality.
  • Efficient models for interaction and dialogue control. The interaction will differ depending on the sophistication of the application, the complexity of the task(s) and the available combination of modalities. Our interaction models must account for this, which also involves dialogue models for interaction control and contextual interpretation for various interaction situations. Development of interaction models will be based on investigations into the properties of users and applications and their implications for knowledge representation models.
  • Models for interpretation and coordination of multi-modal interaction. It is of vital importance to be able to coordinate the various input and output modalities that a user can utilise. Open problems are how to synchronize spoken input with gestures such as pointing in a map etc. One challenge is how contradicting information is to be interpreted, e.g. if a user says one thing but points at something else. This is not limited to input coordination. We also need knowledge on how to combine various output modalities. With the current work on synthetic faces carried out by a group initially at Telia Research but now at NLPLAB we have the ability to integrate a spoken face into our system. This can be used for feedback during input and to enhance the user's understanding of spoken output.
  • Models for domain reasoning. Intelligent dialogue systems must be able to respond properly to a variety of requests involving knowledge of the dialogue, the task at hand, and the domain. This requires powerful tools for information extraction and the ability to map this to a representation of the domain or a more general ontology and to utilise this in the interaction.
  • Means for industrial use of language technology and especially development of multimodal dialogue systems. This includes tools and frameworks that can be used in industry as well as development methods.
  • Design and development of adaptive multimodal dialogue systems.

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Last updated: 2004-04-22