8th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Geneva, Switzerland
September 1-4, 2003


The Queen's Communicator: An Object-Oriented Dialogue Manager

Ian O'Neill (1), Philip Hanna (1), Xingkun Liu (1), Michael McTear (2)

(1) Queen's University Belfast, U.K.
(2) University of Ulster, U.K.

This paper presents some of the main features of a prototype spoken dialogue manager (DM) that has been incorporated into the DARPA Communicator architecture. Developed in Java, the object components that constitute the DM separate generic from domain-specific dialogue behaviour in the interests of maintainability and extensibility. Confirmation strategies encapsulated in a high-level DiscourseManager determine the system's behaviour across transactional domains, while rules of thumb encapsulated in a suite of domain experts enable the system to guide the user towards completion of particular transactions. We describe the nature of the generic confirmation strategy and the domain experts' specialised dialogue behaviour. We describe how rules of thumb fire given certain combinations of user-supplied values - or in the light of the system's own interaction with its database.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  O'Neill, Ian / Hanna, Philip / Liu, Xingkun / McTear, Michael (2003): "The queen's communicator: an object-oriented dialogue manager", In EUROSPEECH-2003, 593-596.