5th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Sydney, Australia
November 30 - December 4, 1998

An Analysis of the Timing of Turn-Taking in a Corpus of Goal-Oriented Dialogue

Matthew Bull, Matthew Aylett

Human Communication Research Centre, University of Edinburgh, UK

This paper presents a context-based analysis of the intervals between different speakers' utterances in a corpus of task-oriented dialogue (the Human Communication Research Centre's Map Task Corpus). In the analysis, we assessed the relationship between inter-speaker intervals and various contextual factors, such as the effects of eye contact, the presence of conversational game boundaries, the category of move in an utterance, and the degree of experience with the task in hand. The results of the analysis indicated that the main factors which gave rise to significant differences in inter-speaker intervals were those which related to decision-making and planning - the greater the amount of planning, the greater the inter-speaker interval. Differences between speakers were also found to be significant, although this effect did not necessarily interact with all other effects. These results provide unique and useful data for the improved effectiveness of dialogue systems.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Bull, Matthew / Aylett, Matthew (1998): "An analysis of the timing of turn-taking in a corpus of goal-oriented dialogue", In ICSLP-1998, paper 0790.