Project financed by SITI

Language, Internet and Mobility



Project outline

Current activities


Current activities, 2002

Within the three sub-projects a number of results will be presented during 2002.

1. Usability of multimodal interfaces

New, innovative methods will be investigated, allowing rapid input to small, mobile, hand-held devices, such as PDAs and cellular phones. We will furthermore look into the effects of different degrees of feedback on human-computer interaction.

In the area of animated faces in human-computer interaction, we will investigate three types of faces: static, drawn faces, synthetic faces and real faces. The objective is to study how users perceive animated faces, how different types of faces influence the efficiency and naturalness of the interaction as well as how they support the dialogue.

Studies of users’ accent preferences when using information sites in English for various types of information will be conducted. We have previously conducted studies in this area with respect to culturally neutral information, and shown that users prefer systems with accents similar to their own accents, for both American and Swedish users. In the autumn we will study whether this result also extends to culturally anchored information, such as tourist information.

2. Intelligent information extraction with dialogue

In a project with SVT (Swedish Television) we are developing a dialogue system called BirdQuest for SVT’s web site, where the public can obtain information about Swedish birds. The information about the birds originates from a published bird encyclopaedia. Within the project a corpus of questions from the public has been collected. The corpus has been analysed and comprise the basis for the development of the ontology that is to be used to mark-up and extract the information contained in the encyclopaedia. The next step consists of customisation of the platform for dialogue system development discussed below to the bird domain and to the information structure of the bird encyclopaedia.

The experience from BirdQuest is the basis for another project where we cooperate with Ida Infront and Sveriges Kommunalarbetarförbund (a Swedish Trade Union), in order to make settlements and regulations within the job market available to ombudsmen and union members. The texts comprise in themselves an interesting object of study as they are fundamentally different from the Bird encyclopaedia used in BirdQuest. Another important aspect is the development of tools for information extraction, creation of lexicons and ontologies. The results from this project, e.g. the tools for information extraction, will be made publicly available as resources on nlpFarm.

3. Open source and tools for development of interaction modules for mobile and stationary services

We have registered an open source resource nlpFarm, where we have started to develop public resources in Java through the mechanisms that the project resource SourceForge provides, e.g. version management, release support, mail groups and bug-tracker reporting. The net resource nlpFarm is a sub-project during the umbrella project OpenNLP, the objective of which is to provide a publicly available language technology toolbox in Java.

The systems that are developed by the research group will be available on nlpFarm, e.g. BirdQuest and the previously, with Nokia, developed NokiaTv. The publishing of these systems are made in order to show successful examples of how language technology can be applied.

The systems will also be made more general and sub-modules will be identified and described. The first module is a refinement of NokiaTv, called TvGuide, and the second module, Quaks, is a general toolkit and framework for supporting management of domain knowledge in a dialogue system with links to different knowledge sources.

Our systems are designed to handle different operative modes for arbitrary dialogue applications, initially java-gui, web pages and cellular phones. We intend to use BirdQuest as the first test case, but will also incorporate TvGuide in order to make these operate in different environments.

nlpFarm has also been used in a course on open source Java development at the Swedish Graduate School in Language Technology.


Project Manager: Arne Jönsson, +46 13 281717,

More information: StAnna Research AB

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Last updated: 2004-06-02