7th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

September 16-20, 2002
Denver, Colorado, USA

Belief Network Based Disambiguation of Object Reference in Spoken Dialogue System for Robot

Yoko Yamakata, Tatsuya Kawahara, Hiroshi G. Okuno

Kyoto University, Japan

We are studying joint activity in which a remote robot finds an object by communicating with the user over a voice-only channel. We focus on how the robot disambiguates the reference of the uttered word or phrase to the target object. For example, by "cup", one may refer to a "teacup", a "coffee cup", or even a "glass" under some situations. This reference (hereafter, "object reference") is user-dependent. We confirm that a user model of object references is significant by conducting a survey of 12 subjects. In addition to ambiguity of object reference, actual systems should cope with two other sources of uncertainty in speech and image recognition. We present a Belief Network based probabilistic reasoning system to determine the object reference. The resulting system demonstrates that the number of interactions needed to find a common reference is reduced as the user model is refined.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Yamakata, Yoko / Kawahara, Tatsuya / Okuno, Hiroshi G. (2002): "Belief network based disambiguation of object reference in spoken dialogue system for robot", In ICSLP-2002, 177-180.