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Publication Details

Interpreting information requests in context: a collaborative web interface

by Ortiz, Charles L., Grosz, Barbara J.

Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems, 2002.

Abstract

We describe the use of theories of agent collaboration and human dialogue processing in providing a principled basis for the design of web interfaces to multimedia information stores. The DIAL system, an implementation in the domain of information support for distance learning by students in an introductory programming class, is used to illustrate the efficacy of this approach. DIAL builds a representation of context that is based on the collaborative plans of the system and its user and uses this contextual information to reduce the communication burden. Context is represented by a structure of intentions that a user is pursuing. This structure is modified astasks are completed or task descriptions are refined. DIAL interprets information requests relative to the prevailing context as it is represented by this structure. As a result, requests can be expressed more economically; contextual information is added by the system. Furthermore, DIAL uses information about the intentional context to respond and act collaboratively, rather than in the master-slave style typical of most current human-computer interfaces. DIAL and the access method it supports provide a unique support tool for distance learning environments as well as a demonstration of a general way in which agent models can be used to improve human-computer communication.

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AIC Personnel

Name Title E-mail
Grosz, Barbara Alumnus
Ortiz, Charles L Program Director

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