E. Campana, J. Beldridge, J. Dowding, B. A. Hockey, R. W. Remington, and L. S. Stone. Using eye movements to determine referents in a spoken dialogue system. In Electronic Proceedings of the Workshop on Perceptive User Interfaces (PUI’01), Orlando, FL, USA, November 15-16 2001. [pdf]
Most computational spoen dialogue systems take a literary approach to reference resolution. With this type of approach, entities that are mentioned by a human interactor are unified with elements in the world state ased on the same principles that guide the process during text interpretation. In human-to-human interaction, however, referring is a much more collaborative process. Participants often under-specify their referents, relying on their discourse partners for feedback if more information is needed to uniquely identify a particular referent. By monitoring eye-movements during this interaction, it is possile to improve the performance of a spoken dialogue system on referring expressions that are underspecified according to the literary model. This paper descries a system currently under development that employs such a strategy.