• FinishedProject

FinishedProject

Semantic Coordination in Dialogue

In the last decade or so problems related to linguistic, and especially semantic, coordination have received increased attention from several strands of research in psycholinguistics, computational linguistics and discourse analysis, among other disciplines. Work on semantic coordination in psycholinguistics has produced very interesting results and some informal theory; we want to use these results as a basis for a general formal theory of semantic coordination.

The project Semantic Coordination in Dialogue (2008-2011) is funded by the Swedish Tercentenary Foundation (Project P2007/0717)

Project homepage

TRIK

A talking and drawing robot for children with communicative disabilities

This project is a cooperation between DART (Centre for Alternative and Augmentative Communication, and Assistive Technology; in Swedish: "Kommunikations- och dataresurscenter för personer med funktionshinder"), and the University of Gothenburg (department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science). The project was financed by the Promobilia Foundation and Magn. Bergvall's Foundation.

TRIK started in September 2008 and ended in December 2009. The main contact person is Peter Ljunglöf. It was followed by the Lekbot project.

Abstract (in English)

In this project we develop and evaluate setup involving a communication board (for manual sign communication) and a drawing robot, which can communicate with each other via spoken language. The purpose is to help children with severe communication disabilities to learn language, language use and cooperation, in a playful and inspiring way. The communication board speaks and the robot is able to understand and talk back. This encourages the child to use the language and learn to cooperate to reach a common goal, which in this case is to get the robot to draw figures on a paper.

Abstract (in Swedish)

I detta projekt utvecklar vi och utvärderar en teckentavla och en ritande robot som kan kommunicera med varandra med hjälp av talat språk. Syftet är att hjälpa barn och ungdomar med svåra språkliga funktionshinder att tillgodogöra sig språket, språkliga regler och språkligt samarbete, på ett lekfullt och inspirerande sätt. Genom att teckentavlan pratar och roboten förstår och kan svara själv, så uppmuntras barnet att använda språket och lär sig att samarbeta för att nå ett gemensamt mål, vilket i detta fall är att få roboten att rita figurer.

Movies

  • Two (normal developed) children starting to play with TRIK: [youtube or download quicktime, 5.6MB]
  • The same session, 10 minutes later: [youtube or download quicktime, 10.3MB]

Publications

Presentations

The robot has been presented at the following workshops and conferences:

  • NordiCHI'08 Robot Workshop, 17 oktober 2008, Lund: [www]
  • Nodalida'09, 17th Nordic Conference on Computational Linguistics, 14–16 maj 2009, Odense, Danmark: [www]
  • 8:e Västsvenska Kommunikationskarnevalen, 1–2 juni 2009, Göteborg: [www]
  • DiaHolmia'09, 13th Workshop on the Semantics and Pragmatics of Dialogue, 24–26 juni 2009, Stockholm: [www]
  • ID-dagarna 2009, 7–9 oktober 2009, Stockholm: [www]

Press

TRIK has been mentioned in the press too:

  • Vårt Göteborg, 1 juni 2009: [www]
  • Metro Teknik, 19 november 2009: [www]

Downloads

Building instructions for the TRIK robot, together with some unsorted Python utilities for connecting to and drawing with the robot from a Mac computer:

  • [generic-turtle-controller.zip] — note that there is no program that can be run directly in this archive, you have to make a wrapper program yourself. For this you need to know at least some Python programming. The building instructions can be viewed in Lego Digital Designer.

Documentation for GoDiS

Using the information state update approach as implemented in TrindiKit, I have developed
a theory of dialogue management (“Issue-based Dialogue Management” or IBDM)
and implemented it in a dialogue system, GoDiS (Larsson, 2002). GoDiS provides general
solutions to several pervasive problems and issues in dialogue, such as: establishing shared
understanding, user initiative, dealing with multiple conversational threads, information
sharing between threads, revising information, multimodal interaction, multilinguality,
plug-and-play of dialogue system applications, etc.). Providing general solutions to general
problems in dialogue means they are solved once and for all, and this in turn means that
new applications which use these general solutions can be developed quicker and cheaper.

There has never been a proper manual for GoDiS; the closest thing to a manual is Larsson
(2002) but this is unsuitable for at least two reasons: (1) It does not provide a comprehensive
overview of the system (nor is it intended to), and (2) it is not up-to-date. A proper manual
should allow a beginner to understand the basics of the underlying theoretical approach,
explain the implementation, and provide detailed information about how to implement
new GoDiS applications.

It is likely that the GoDiS system itself will be slightly modified in the course of writing
a manual, as rough solutions (“hacks”) must be replaced to enable a comprehensive
descriptions.

Completion of the GoDiS manual is expected to take 1 month.

Project duration: 2008-03-01 - 2008-12-31

 

An infrastructure for Swedish language technology

Planning grant from VR for formulating Swedish language technology infrastructure projects.

Duration: 2007-2008

Coordinator: Lars Borin, CLT/GU

Partner institutions: GU, KTH, LiU, LU, UU, the Swedish Language Council

 

Dialogue Systems and Type Theory

To facilitate rapid development of dialogue systems by specifying them as type theoretical grammars (CLT PostDoc project)

Duration: Jan–Dec 2008

Participant: Peter Ljunglöf, CLT PostDoc researcher

Abstract:

Ranta and Cooper (2004) describe how a dialogue system can be implemented in a syntax editor based on type theory, originally developed for editing mathematical proofs. However, only information-seeking dialogues are supported, and the backbone is a fairly simple form-based dialogue system.

In this project I want to build upon their ideas to implement features from ISU-based dialogue systems, to extend the range of dialogue type in include, e.g., action-oriented dialogue. This will be done by specifying information states, update rules, dialogue plans, semantics and syntax in the same type-theoretical framework.

References:

Aarne Ranta and Robin Cooper. Dialogue systems as proof editors. Journal of Logic, Language and Information, 13(2):225–240, April 2004.

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