Observatorio de I+D+i UPM

Memorias de investigación
Contributions to the Contextualization of Human-Machine Spoken Interaction Systems
Research Areas
  • Electronic technology and of the communications,
  • Electric engineers, electronic and automatic (eil)
The design and development of spoken interaction systems has been a thoroughly studied research scope for the last decades. The aim is to obtain systems with the ability to interact with human agents with a high degree of naturalness and efficiency, allowing them to carry out the actions they desire using speech, as it is the most natural means of communication between humans. To achieve that degree of naturalness, it is not enough to endow systems with the ability to accurately understand the user?s utterances and to properly react to them, even considering the information provided by the user in his or her previous interactions. The system has also to be aware of the evolution of the conditions under which the interaction takes place, in order to act the most coherent way as possible at each moment. Consequently, one of the most important features of the system is that it has to be context-aware. This context awareness of the system can be reflected in the modification of the behaviour of the system taking into account the current situation of the interaction. For instance, the system should decide which action it has to carry out, or the way to perform it, depending on the user that requests it, on the way that the user addresses the system, on the characteristics of the environment in which the interaction takes place, and so on. In other words, the system has to adapt its behaviour to these evolving elements of the interaction. Moreover that adaptation has to be carried out, if possible, in such a way that the user: i) does not perceive that the system has to make any additional effort, or to devote interaction time to perform tasks other than carrying out the requested actions, and ii) does not have to provide the system with any additional information to carry out the adaptation, which could imply a lesser efficiency of the interaction, since users should devote several interactions only to allow the system to become adapted. In the state-of-the-art spoken dialogue systems, researchers have proposed several disparate strategies to adapt the elements of the system to different conditions of the interaction (such as the acoustic characteristics of a specific user?s speech, the actions previously requested, and so on). Nevertheless, to our knowledge there is not any consensus on the procedures to carry out these adaptation. The approaches are to an extent unrelated from one another, in the sense that each one considers different pieces of information, and the treatment of that information is different taking into account the adaptation carried out. In this regard, the main contributions of this Thesis are the following ones: ? Definition of a contextualization framework. We propose a unified approach that can cover any strategy to adapt the behaviour of a dialogue system to the conditions of the interaction (i.e. the context). In our theoretical definition of the contextualization framework we consider the system?s context as all the sources of variability present at any time of the interaction, either those ones related to the environment in which the interaction takes place, or to the human agent that addresses the system at each moment. Once we define the theoretical basis of our contextualization framework, we propose two cases of study on its application in a spoken dialogue system. We focus on two aspects of the interaction: the contextualization of the speech recognition models, and the incorporation of user-specific information into the dialogue flow.
Mark Rating
Sobresaliente cum laude
  • Autor: Juan Manuel Lucas Cuesta (UPM)
  • Director: Javier Ferreiros Lopez (UPM)
Research Group, Departaments and Institutes related
  • Creador: Grupo de Investigación: Grupo de Tecnología del Habla
  • Departamento: Ingeniería Electrónica
S2i 2020 Observatorio de investigación @ UPM con la colaboración del Consejo Social UPM
Cofinanciación del MINECO en el marco del Programa INNCIDE 2011 (OTR-2011-0236)
Cofinanciación del MINECO en el marco del Programa INNPACTO (IPT-020000-2010-22)