Accessing Information in Spoken Audio

April 19-20, 1999
Cambridge, UK

Language processing for spoken dialogue systems: Is shallow parsing enough?

Ian Lewin (1), Ralph Becket (1), Johan Boye (2), David Carter (1), Manny Rayner (1), and Mats Wiren (2)

(1) SRI International, Cambridge, UK
(2) Telia Research AB, Farsta, Sweden

With maturing speech technology, spoken dialogue systems are increasingly moving from research prototypes to fielded systems. The fielded systems however generally employ much simpler linguistic and dialogue processing strategies than the research prototypes. We describe an implemented spoken-language dialogue system for a travel planning domain which supports a mixed initiative dialogue strategy. The system accesses a commercially available travel information webserver. The system architecture combines both shallow and deep linguistic processors, partly so that a robust if shallow analysis is always available to the dialogue manager, and partly so that we can begin to examine where significant gains can be made by employing more advanced linguistic processing. We present the results of a preliminary investigation using data from a Wizard of Oz experiment. The results lend limited support to our original hypothesis that deep linguistic processing will prove useful at points where the user takes the initiative in driving the dialogue forward.

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Bibliographic reference.  Ian Lewin, Ralph Becket, Johan Boye, David Carter, Manny Rayner and Mats Wiren (1999): "Language processing for spoken dialogue systems: Is shallow parsing enough?", In Access-Audio-1999, 37-42.