Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 16

Search results for: conversational implicature.

16 A Pragmatics Study on Jokes and the Implicature in Broadcast Messages

Authors: Yuli Widiana

Abstract:

The study of implicature which is one of the discussions of pragmatics is such an interesting and challenging topic to discuss. Implicature is such a meaning which is implied in such an utterance which is not the same as its literal meaning. The rapid development of information technology results social networks as media to broadcast messages. The broadcast messages may be in the form of jokes which contain implicature. The research applies the pragmatic equivalent method to analyze the topics of jokes based on the implicatures contained in them. Furthermore, the method is also applied to reveal the purpose of creating implicature in jokes. The findings include the kinds of implicature found in jokes which are classified into conventional implicature and conversational implicature. Then, in detailed analysis, implicature in jokes is divided into implicature related to gender, culture, and social phenomena. Furthermore, implicature in jokes may not only be used to give entertainment but also to soften criticisms or satire so that it does not sound rude and harsh.

Keywords: Implicature, broadcast messages, conventional implicature, conversational implicature.

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15 A Black-box Approach for Response Quality Evaluation of Conversational Agent Systems

Authors: Ong Sing Goh, C. Ardil, Wilson Wong, Chun Che Fung

Abstract:

The evaluation of conversational agents or chatterbots question answering systems is a major research area that needs much attention. Before the rise of domain-oriented conversational agents based on natural language understanding and reasoning, evaluation is never a problem as information retrieval-based metrics are readily available for use. However, when chatterbots began to become more domain specific, evaluation becomes a real issue. This is especially true when understanding and reasoning is required to cater for a wider variety of questions and at the same time to achieve high quality responses. This paper discusses the inappropriateness of the existing measures for response quality evaluation and the call for new standard measures and related considerations are brought forward. As a short-term solution for evaluating response quality of conversational agents, and to demonstrate the challenges in evaluating systems of different nature, this research proposes a blackbox approach using observation, classification scheme and a scoring mechanism to assess and rank three example systems, AnswerBus, START and AINI.

Keywords: Evaluation, conversational agents, Response Quality, chatterbots

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14 The Effect of Information vs. Reasoning Gap Tasks on the Frequency of Conversational Strategies and Accuracy in Speaking among Iranian Intermediate EFL Learners

Authors: Hooriya Sadr Dadras, Shiva Seyed Erfani

Abstract:

Speaking skills merit meticulous attention both on the side of the learners and the teachers. In particular, accuracy is a critical component to guarantee the messages to be conveyed through conversation because a wrongful change may adversely alter the content and purpose of the talk. Different types of tasks have served teachers to meet numerous educational objectives. Besides, negotiation of meaning and the use of different strategies have been areas of concern in socio-cultural theories of SLA. Negotiation of meaning is among the conversational processes which have a crucial role in facilitating the understanding and expression of meaning in a given second language. Conversational strategies are used during interaction when there is a breakdown in communication that leads to the interlocutor attempting to remedy the gap through talk. Therefore, this study was an attempt to investigate if there was any significant difference between the effect of reasoning gap tasks and information gap tasks on the frequency of conversational strategies used in negotiation of meaning in classrooms on one hand, and on the accuracy in speaking of Iranian intermediate EFL learners on the other. After a pilot study to check the practicality of the treatments, at the outset of the main study, the Preliminary English Test was administered to ensure the homogeneity of 87 out of 107 participants who attended the intact classes of a 15 session term in one control and two experimental groups. Also, speaking sections of PET were used as pretest and posttest to examine their speaking accuracy. The tests were recorded and transcribed to estimate the percentage of the number of the clauses with no grammatical errors in the total produced clauses to measure the speaking accuracy. In all groups, the grammatical points of accuracy were instructed and the use of conversational strategies was practiced. Then, different kinds of reasoning gap tasks (matchmaking, deciding on the course of action, and working out a time table) and information gap tasks (restoring an incomplete chart, spot the differences, arranging sentences into stories, and guessing game) were manipulated in experimental groups during treatment sessions, and the students were required to practice conversational strategies when doing speaking tasks. The conversations throughout the terms were recorded and transcribed to count the frequency of the conversational strategies used in all groups. The results of statistical analysis demonstrated that applying both the reasoning gap tasks and information gap tasks significantly affected the frequency of conversational strategies through negotiation. In the face of the improvements, the reasoning gap tasks had a more significant impact on encouraging the negotiation of meaning and increasing the number of conversational frequencies every session. The findings also indicated both task types could help learners significantly improve their speaking accuracy. Here, applying the reasoning gap tasks was more effective than the information gap tasks in improving the level of learners’ speaking accuracy.

Keywords: Accuracy in speaking, conversational strategies, information gap tasks, reasoning gap tasks.

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13 Designing and Evaluating Pedagogic Conversational Agents to Teach Children

Authors: Silvia Tamayo-Moreno, Diana Pérez-Marín

Abstract:

In this paper, the possibility of children studying by using an interactive learning technology called Pedagogic Conversational Agent is presented. The main benefit is that the agent is able to adapt the dialogue to each student and to provide automatic feedback. Moreover, according to Math teachers, in many cases students are unable to solve the problems even knowing the procedure to solve them, because they do not understand what they have to do. The hypothesis is that if students are helped to understand what they have to solve, they will be able to do it. Taken that into account, we have started the development of Dr. Roland, an agent to help students understand Math problems following a User-Centered Design methodology. The use of this methodology is proposed, for the first time, to design pedagogic agents to teach any subject from Secondary down to Pre-Primary education. The reason behind proposing a methodology is that while working on this project, we noticed the lack of literature to design and evaluate agents. To cover this gap, we describe how User-Centered Design can be applied, and which usability techniques can be applied to evaluate the agent.

Keywords: Pedagogic conversational agent, human-computer interaction, user-centered design, natural language interface.

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12 A Multilingual Virtual Simulated Patient Framework for Training Primary Health Care Students

Authors: Juan L. Castro, Maria I. NavarroVictor Lopez, Eduardo M. Eisman, Jose M. Zurita

Abstract:

This paper describes the Multilingual Virtual Simulated Patient framework. It has been created to train the social skills and testing the knowledge of primary health care medical students. The framework generates conversational agents which perform in serveral languages as virtual simulated patients that help to improve the communication and diagnosis skills of the students complementing their training process.

Keywords: Medical training, conversational agents, patient modeling.

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11 Teaching Ethical Behaviour: Conversational Analysis in Perspective

Authors: Nikhil Kewal Krishna Mehta

Abstract:

In the past researchers have questioned the effectiveness of ethics training in higher education. Also, there are observations that support the view that ethical behaviour (range of actions)/ethical decision making models used in the past make use of vignettes to explain ethical behaviour. The understanding remains in the perspective that these vignettes play a limited role in determining individual intentions and not actions. Some authors have also agreed that there are possibilities of differences in one’s intentions and actions. This paper makes an attempt to fill those gaps by evaluating real actions rather than intentions. In a way this study suggests the use of an experiential methodology to explore Berlo’s model of communication as an action along with orchestration of various principles. To this endeavor, an attempt was made to use conversational analysis in the pursuance of evaluating ethical decision making behaviour among students and middle level managers. The process was repeated six times with the set of an average of 15 participants. Similarities have been observed in the behaviour of students and middle level managers that calls for understanding that both the groups of individuals have no cognizance of their actual actions. The deliberations derived out of conversation were taken a step forward for meta-ethical evaluations to portray a clear picture of ethical behaviour among participants. This study provides insights for understanding demonstrated unconscious human behaviour which may fortuitously be termed both ethical and unethical.

Keywords: Berlo’s action model of communication, Conversational Analysis, Ethical behaviour, Ethical decision making, experiential learning, Intentions and Actions.

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10 An Enhanced Tool for Implementing Dialogue Forms in Conversational Applications

Authors: Ilias Spais, George Bafas

Abstract:

Natural Language Understanding Systems (NLU) will not be widely deployed unless they are technically mature and cost effective to develop. Cost effective development hinges on the availability of tools and techniques enabling the rapid production of NLU applications through minimal human resources. Further, these tools and techniques should allow quick development of applications in a user friendly way and should be easy to upgrade in order to continuously follow the evolving technologies and standards. This paper presents a visual tool for the structuring and editing of dialog forms, the key element of driving conversation in NLU applications based on IBM technology. The main focus is given on the basic component used to describe Human – Machine interactions of that kind, the Dialogue Manager. In essence, the description of a tool that enables the visual representation of the Dialogue Manager mainly during the implementation phase is illustrated.

Keywords: Conversational Applications, Forms Dialogue Manager (FDM), Natural Language Processing, Natural Language Understanding.

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9 The Phatic Function and the Socializing Element of Personal Blogs

Authors: Emelia Noronha, Milind Malshe

Abstract:

The phatic function of communication is a vital element of any conversation. This research paper looks into this function with respect to personal blogs maintained by Indian bloggers. This paper is a study into the phenomenon of phatic communication maintained by bloggers through their blogs. Based on a linguistic analysis of the posts of twenty eight Indian bloggers, writing in English, studied over a period of three years, the study indicates that though the blogging phenomenon is not conversational in the same manner as face-to-face communication, it does make ample provision for feedback that is conversational in nature. Ordinary day to day offline conversations use conventionalized phatic utterances; those on the social media are in a perpetual mode of innovation and experimentation in order to sustain contact with its readers. These innovative methods and means are the focus of this study. Though the personal blogger aims to chronicle his/her personal life through the blog, the socializing function is crucial to these bloggers. In comparison to the western personal blogs which focus on the presentation of the ‘bounded individual self’, we find Indian personal bloggers engage in the presentation of their ‘social selves’. These bloggers yearn to reach out to the readers on the internet and the phatic function serves to initiate, sustain and renew social ties on the blogosphere thereby consolidating the social network of readers and bloggers.

Keywords: Personal blogs, phatic, social-selves, blog readers.

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8 Tracing Syrian Refugees Urban Mobilities: The Case of Egypt and Canada

Authors: N. Elgendy, N. Hussein

Abstract:

The current Syrian crisis has caused unprecedented practices of global mobility. The process of forced eviction and the resettlement of refugees could be seen through the insights of the “new mobilities paradigm”. The mobility of refugees in terms of meaning and practice is a subject that calls for further studies. There is a need for the development of an approach to human mobility to understand a practice that is turning into a phenomenon in the 21st century. This paper aims at studying, from a qualitative point of view, the process of movement within the six constituents of mobility defined as the first phase of the journey of a refugee. The second phase would include the process of settling in and re-defining the host country as new “home” to refugees. The change in the refugee state of mind and crossing the physical and mental borders from a “foreigner” to a citizen is encouraged by both the governmental policies and the local communities’ efforts to embrace these newcomers. The paper would focus on these policies of social and economic integration. The concept of integration connotes the idea that refugees would enjoy the opportunities, rights and services available to the citizens of the refugee’s new community. So, this paper examines this concept through showcasing the two hosting countries of Canada and Egypt, as they provide two contrasting situations in terms of cultural, geographical, economic and political backgrounds. The analysis would highlight the specific policies defined towards the refugees including the mass communication, media calls, and access to employment. This research is part of a qualitative research project on the process of Urban Mobility practiced by the Syrian Refugees, drawing on conversational interviews with new-settlers who have moved to the different hosting countries, from their home in Syria. It explores these immigrants’ practical and emotional relationships with the process of movement and settlement. It uses the conversational interviews as a tool to document analysis and draw relationships in an attempt to establish an understanding of the factors that contribute to the new-settlers feeling of home and integration within the new community.

Keywords: Mobility, refugees, home, integration.

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7 Automatic Recognition of Emotionally Coloured Speech

Authors: Theologos Athanaselis, Stelios Bakamidis, Ioannis Dologlou

Abstract:

Emotion in speech is an issue that has been attracting the interest of the speech community for many years, both in the context of speech synthesis as well as in automatic speech recognition (ASR). In spite of the remarkable recent progress in Large Vocabulary Recognition (LVR), it is still far behind the ultimate goal of recognising free conversational speech uttered by any speaker in any environment. Current experimental tests prove that using state of the art large vocabulary recognition systems the error rate increases substantially when applied to spontaneous/emotional speech. This paper shows that recognition rate for emotionally coloured speech can be improved by using a language model based on increased representation of emotional utterances.

Keywords: Statistical language model, N-grams, emotionallycoloured speech

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6 A Crisis Communication Network Based on Embodied Conversational Agents System with Mobile Services

Authors: Ong Sing Goh, C. Ardil, Chun Che Fung, Kok Wai Wong, Arnold Depickere

Abstract:

In this paper, we proposed a new framework to incorporate an intelligent agent software robot into a crisis communication portal (CCNet) in order to send alert news to subscribed users via email and other mobile services such as Short Message Service (SMS), Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) and General Packet Radio Services (GPRS). The content on the mobile services can be delivered either through mobile phone or Personal Digital Assistance (PDA). This research has shown that with our proposed framework, the embodied conversation agents system can handle questions intelligently with our multilayer architecture. At the same time, the extended framework can take care of delivery content through a more humanoid interface on mobile devices.

Keywords: Crisis Communication Network (CCNet), EmbodiedConversational Agents (ECAs), Mobile Services, ArtificialIntelligence Neural-network Identity (AINI)

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5 Online Collaborative Learning System Using Speech Technology

Authors: Sid-Ahmed. Selouani, Tang-Ho Lê, Chadia Moghrabi, Benoit Lanteigne, Jean Roy

Abstract:

A Web-based learning tool, the Learn IN Context (LINC) system, designed and being used in some institution-s courses in mixed-mode learning, is presented in this paper. This mode combines face-to-face and distance approaches to education. LINC can achieve both collaborative and competitive learning. In order to provide both learners and tutors with a more natural way to interact with e-learning applications, a conversational interface has been included in LINC. Hence, the components and essential features of LINC+, the voice enhanced version of LINC, are described. We report evaluation experiments of LINC/LINC+ in a real use context of a computer programming course taught at the Université de Moncton (Canada). The findings show that when the learning material is delivered in the form of a collaborative and voice-enabled presentation, the majority of learners seem to be satisfied with this new media, and confirm that it does not negatively affect their cognitive load.

Keywords: E-leaning, Knowledge Network, Speech recognition, Speech synthesis.

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4 EMOES: Eye Motion and Ocular Expression Simulator

Authors: Nicoletta Adamo-Villani, Gerardo Beni, Jeremy White

Abstract:

We introduce, a new interactive 3D simulation system of ocular motion and expressions suitable for: (1) character animation applications to game design, film production, HCI (Human Computer Interface), conversational animated agents, and virtual reality; (2) medical applications (ophthalmic neurological and muscular pathologies: research and education); and (3) real time simulation of unconscious cognitive and emotional responses (for use, e.g., in psychological research). The system is comprised of: (1) a physiologically accurate parameterized 3D model of the eyes, eyelids, and eyebrow regions; and (2) a prototype device for realtime control of eye motions and expressions, including unconsciously produced expressions, for application as in (1), (2), and (3) above. The 3D eye simulation system, created using state-of-the-art computer animation technology and 'optimized' for use with an interactive and web deliverable platform, is, to our knowledge, the most advanced/realistic available so far for applications to character animation and medical pedagogy.

Keywords: 3D animation, HCI, medical simulation, ocularmotion and expression.

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3 3D Simulator of Ocular Motion and Expression

Authors: Nicoletta Adamo-Villani, Gerardo Beni, Jeremy White

Abstract:

We introduce a new interactive 3D simulator of ocular motion and expressions suitable for: (1) character animation applications to game design, film production, HCI (Human Computer Interface), conversational animated agents, and virtual reality; (2) medical applications (ophthalmic neurological and muscular pathologies: research and education); and (3) real time simulation of unconscious cognitive and emotional responses (for use, e.g., in psychological research). Using state-of-the-art computer animation technology we have modeled and rigged a physiologically accurate 3D model of the eyes, eyelids, and eyebrow regions and we have 'optimized' it for use with an interactive and web deliverable platform. In addition, we have realized a prototype device for realtime control of eye motions and expressions, including unconsciously produced expressions, for application as in (1), (2), and (3) above. The 3D simulator of eye motion and ocular expression is, to our knowledge, the most advanced/realistic available so far for applications in character animation and medical pedagogy.

Keywords: 3D animation, HCI, medical simulation, ocularmotion and expression.

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2 A Security Model of Voice Eavesdropping Protection over Digital Networks

Authors: Supachai Tangwongsan, Sathaporn Kassuvan

Abstract:

The purpose of this research is to develop a security model for voice eavesdropping protection over digital networks. The proposed model provides an encryption scheme and a personal secret key exchange between communicating parties, a so-called voice data transformation system, resulting in a real-privacy conversation. The operation of this system comprises two main steps as follows: The first one is the personal secret key exchange for using the keys in the data encryption process during conversation. The key owner could freely make his/her choice in key selection, so it is recommended that one should exchange a different key for a different conversational party, and record the key for each case into the memory provided in the client device. The next step is to set and record another personal option of encryption, either taking all frames or just partial frames, so-called the figure of 1:M. Using different personal secret keys and different sets of 1:M to different parties without the intervention of the service operator, would result in posing quite a big problem for any eavesdroppers who attempt to discover the key used during the conversation, especially in a short period of time. Thus, it is quite safe and effective to protect the case of voice eavesdropping. The results of the implementation indicate that the system can perform its function accurately as designed. In this regard, the proposed system is suitable for effective use in voice eavesdropping protection over digital networks, without any requirements to change presently existing network systems, mobile phone network and VoIP, for instance.

Keywords: Computer Security, Encryption, Key Exchange, Security Model, Voice Eavesdropping.

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1 A Qualitative Evidence of the Markedness of Code Switching during Commercial Bank Service Encounters in Ìbàdàn Metropolis

Authors: A. Robbin

Abstract:

In a multilingual setting like Nigeria, the success of service encounters is enhanced by the use of a language that ensures the linguistic and persuasive demands of the interlocutors. This study examined motivations for code switching as a negotiation strategy in bank-hall desk service encounters in Ìbàdàn metropolis using Myers-Scotton’s exploration on markedness in language use. The data consisted of transcribed audio recording of bank-hall service encounters, and direct observation of bank interactions in two purposively sampled commercial banks in Ìbàdàn metropolis. The data was subjected to descriptive linguistic analysis using Myers Scotton’s Markedness Model.  Findings reveal that code switching is frequently employed during different stages of service encounter: greeting, transaction and closing to fulfil relational, bargaining and referential functions. Bank staff and customers code switch to make unmarked, marked and explanatory choices. A strategy used to identify with customer’s cultural affiliation, close status gap, and appeal to begrudged customer; or as an explanatory choice with non-literate customers for ease of communication. Bankers select English to maintain customers’ perceptions of prestige which is retained or diverged from depending on their linguistic preference or ability.  Yoruba is seen as an efficient negotiation strategy with both bankers and their customers, making choices within conversation to achieve desired conversational and functional aims.

Keywords: Markedness, bilingualism, code switching, service encounter, banking.

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