The Waxholm dialog project
Waxholm was a spoken dialogue system for retrieving information about the ferryboat services in the Stockholm archipelago.
Waxholm was a generic system in which speech synthesis and speech recognition can be studied in a man-machine dialogue framework. In addition, the system should facilitate the collection of speech and text data that are required for the development of the system. The demonstrator application, that we call WAXHOLM, gives information on boat traffic in the Stockholm archipelago. A fleet of some twenty boats from the Waxholm company connect about two hundred ports. Different days of the week have different time tables. The system also had some information about facilities like hotels and restaurants on the islands. The system could be used to find information, not to carry out the actual bookings or provide further tourist information. The system featured a graphical interface with an animated talking head and a picture that visualized the system’s domain (Bertenstam et al. 1995). Textual information was presented by placing tables by the icons depicting the corresponding facilities. Information provided by the user was also displayed at different places, the recognized destination was shown on the island and the recognized departure on the jetty.
The Waxholm project was initiated in 1992 as a research effort for building spoken dialogue systems. In this project, new dialogue management and parsing modules were developed and combined with TMH’s existing speech synthesis and recognition. The goal was to acquire knowledge on how to develop the natural language modules and the other system modules needed to build spoken dialogue systems (Carlson 1996). Another important purpose was to collect spoken dialogue data. The fully automated Waxholm system has not been used in any extensive users studies. These were instead carried out during the iterative development of the system. The WOZ version was used to collect dialogues from 66 subjects. Before interacting with the system, the subjects of the WOZ experiment were given written scenarios, but these turned out to influence the subjects. Some of the subjects reused large parts of the written scenarios when they approached the system.
Duration: 1991 - 1995
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