A System for Teaching Spoken Dialogue Systems Technology

The aim of this work has been to put a fully functioning spoken dialogue system into the hands of the students as an instructional aid.

The students can test it themselves and are able to examine the system in detail. They are shown how to extend and develop the functionality. In this way, we hope to increase their understanding of the problems and issues involved and to spur their interest for this technology and its possibilities. The TMH speech toolkit, including a broker system with distributed servers, has been used to create an integrated lab environment that can be used on Unix machines. The system has been used in the courses on spoken language technology given at Masters level at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), at Linköping University and at Uppsala University in Sweden. The Gulan educational system was a modular dialogue system which students could reconfigure interactively whilse running it. The students got a simple dialogue system where they could search the web-based version of the Swedish Yellow Pages. The system presented information both verbally (with an optional talking head) and graphically on a map and in a text table. The student could inspect and change the different modules of the spoken dialogue system. The purpose of the lab assignment was to stimulate the students to think about the possibilities, limitations and some practical problems of task-oriented spoken dialogue systems in the information retrieval domain.

The system was developed at KTH (Sjölander and Gustafson 1997). A new dialogue manager for Gulan was developed by NLPLAB at Linköping University in a joint project (Gustafson et al. 1998). Gulan was used in a number of speech technology courses at five different universities in Sweden 1997-1999. In 1998 it was used by a total number of 150 students. The learning effect of the dialogue component of Gulan has been evaluated by Qvarfordt and Jönsson (1999).

Group: Speech Communication and Technology

Joakim Gustafson
Kåre Sjölander
Jonas Beskow
Patrik Elmberg

Duration: 1996 - 1998


Related publications:


Gustafson, J. (2002). Developing multimodal spoken dialogue systems. Empirical studies of spoken human-computer interaction. Doctoral dissertation, KTH. [pdf]


Gustafson, J., Sjölander, K., Beskow, J., Granström, B., & Carlson, R. (1999). Creating web-based exercises for spoken language technology. In Tutorial session in proceedings of IDS'99 (pp. 165-168). [pdf]

Sjölander, K., Gustafson, J., Beskow, J., Granström, B., & Carlson, R. (1999). Web-based educational tools for speech technology. In Proceedings Proc MATISSE - ESCA/SOCRATES Workshop on Method and Tool Innovations for Speech Science Education. London.


Carlson, R., Granström, B., Gustafson, J., Lewin, E., & Sjölander, K. (1998). Hands-on speech technology on the Web. In Proceedings of Elsnet in Wonderland (pp. 30-36).

Gustafson, J., Elmberg, P., Carlson, R., & Jönsson, A. (1998). An educational dialogue system with a user controllable dialogue manager. In Proc of ICSLP98, Intl Conference on Spoken Language Processing (pp. 33-36). Sydney, Australia. [pdf]

Gustafson, J., & Sjölander, K. (1998). Educational tools for speech technology. In Branderud, P., & Traunmüller, H. (Eds.), Proc of Fonetik -98, The Swedish Phonetics Conference (pp. 176-179). Stockholm University.

Gustafson, J., & Sjölander, K. (1998). Educational tools for speech technology. TMH-QPSR, 39(1-2), 077-080. [html]

Sjölander, K., Beskow, J., Gustafson, J., Lewin, E., Carlson, R., & Granström, B. (1998). Web-based educational tools for speech technology. In Proc of ICSLP98, 5th Intl Conference on Spoken Language Processing (pp. 3217-3220). Sydney, Australia.


Sjölander, K., & Gustafson, J. (1997). An integrated system for teaching spoken dialogue systems technology. In Kokkinakis, G., Fakotakis, N., & Dermatas, E. (Eds.), Proc of Eurospeech '97, 5th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology (pp. 1927-1930). Rhodes, Greece. [pdf]

Published by: TMH, Speech, Music and Hearing

Last updated: 2012-11-09