Second ISCA/DEGA Tutorial and Research Workshop on Perceptual Quality of Systems

Berlin, Germany
September 4-6, 2006

User Expectations and Selected Notions in the Context of the Spoken Dialogue System INSPIRE

Rosa Pegam (1), Jan Krebber (2)

(1) Fachbereich Kommunikationswissenschaft, Universitšt Duisburg-Essen, Germany
(2) Institute of Acoustics and Speech Communication, Technische Universitšt Dresden, Germany

This paper investigates the interaction with the INSPIRE spoken dialogue system as perceived by users from a communication-theoretic perspective. We found a practical interest in research into user expectations in the context of interaction with spoken dialogue systems. When designers of these systems create the various dialogue modules they usually rely on designs of previous interactive speech systems. This is not always the most recommendable way to deal with the matter because in many cases the earlier reference systems (e.g. automatic telephonic train information services) were designed for purposes different from the current ones (e.g. voice controlled smart-home applications). This is certain to have a negative effect on the eventual performance quality of the newer system because the dialogue structures were not developed exclusively for the system in question. This paper investigates expectations that users build up while interacting with the INSPIRE system.

The objective of this paper is to reveal the most striking kinds of expectations and those most relevant as to the dialogue flow. Furthermore, a categorisation of system limitations regarding dialogue shall be established. We assume that when user expectations are known to the system developer, this knowledge can be applied during the system implementation and will lead to a reduction of ill-structured dialogues (i.e. incomprehensible structures).

The interdisciplinary approach taken in this paper curls up challenges as regards thematic commitment: the main focus of this paper is on the actual interaction events between man and machine. This paper is strongly empirically oriented. Although literature treating the subject of user expectations regarding dialogue systems has been published, the vast majority of these texts regard dialogue systems based on modalities other than voice-controlled user interfaces (e.g. graphical user interfaces). This circumstance makes a practical approach to the subject necessary, that is, a study of the subject in very close connection with the INSPIRE system tapping the wealth of experience the authors have collected while assisting with the development of the system prototype at the Institute of Communication Acoustics Ruhr-University of Bochum during 2003 and 2004.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Pegam, Rosa / Krebber, Jan (2006): "User expectations and selected notions in the context of the spoken dialogue system INSPIRE", In PQS-2006, 68-75.