9th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Brisbane, Australia
September 22-26, 2008

From Domain Specification to Virtual Humans: An Integrated Approach to Authoring Tactical Questioning Characters

Sudeep Gandhe, David DeVault, Antonio Roque, Bilyana Martinovski, Ron Artstein, Anton Leuski, Jillian Gerten, David Traum

University of Southern California, USA

We present a new approach for rapidly developing dialogue capabilities for virtual humans. Starting from domain specification, an integrated authoring interface automatically generates dialogue acts with all possible contents. These dialogue acts are linked to example utterances in order to provide training data for natural language understanding and generation. The virtual human dialogue system contains a dialogue manager following the information-state approach, using finite-state machines and SCXML to manage local coherence, as well as explicit modeling of emotions and compliance level and a grounding component based on evidence of understanding. Using the authoring tools, we design and implement a version of the virtual human Hassan and compare to previous architectures for the character.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Gandhe, Sudeep / DeVault, David / Roque, Antonio / Martinovski, Bilyana / Artstein, Ron / Leuski, Anton / Gerten, Jillian / Traum, David (2008): "From domain specification to virtual humans: an integrated approach to authoring tactical questioning characters", In INTERSPEECH-2008, 2486-2489.