Eyes on multimodal interaction
Sammanfattning: Advances in technology are making it possible for users to interact with computers by various modalities, often through speech and gesture. Such multimodal interaction is attractive because it mimics the patterns and skills in natural human-human communication. To date, research in this area has primarily focused on giving commands to computers. The focus of this thesis shifts from commands to dialogue interaction. The work presented here is divided into two parts. The first part looks at the impact of the characteristics of the spoken feedback on users' experience of a multimodal dialogue system. The second part investigates whether and how eye-gaze can be utilized in multimodal dialogue systems.Although multimodal interaction has attracted many researchers, little attention has been paid to how users experience such systems. The first part of this thesis investigates what makes multimodal dialogue systems either human-like or tool-like, and what qualities are most important to users. In a simulated multimodal timetable information system users were exposed to different levels of spoken feedback. The results showed that the users preferred the system to be either clearly tool-like, with no spoken words, or clearly human-like, with complete and natural utterances. Furthermore, the users' preference for a human-like multimodal system tended to be much higher after they had actual experience than beforehand based on imagination.Eye-gaze plays a powerful role in human communication. In a computer-mediated collaborative task involving a tourist and a tourist consultant, the second part of this thesis starts with examining the users' eye-gaze patterns and their functions in deictic referencing, interest detection, topic switching, ambiguity reduction, and establishing common ground in a dialogue. Based on the results of this study, an interactive tourist advisor system that encapsulates some of the identified patterns and regularities was developed. In a "stress test" experiment based on eye-gaze patterns only, the developed system conversed with users to help them plan their conference trips. Results demonstrated thateye-gaze can play an assistive role in managing future multimodal human-computer dialogues.
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