Siiri Pärkson will defend her doctoral thesis titled "Dialoogist dialoogsüsteemini: partneri algatatud parandused" (From dialogue to dialogue system: the other-initiated repairs) on 29 March 2016 at 14.15 at the UT Senate Hall.
Supervisors: Professor Renate Pajusalu; Professor Emeritus Mare Koit
Opponents: PhD Anne Tamm (Kesk-Euroopa ülikool) ja filoloogiakandidaat Hille Pajupuu (Eesti Keele Instituut).
Summary: This dissertation analyzes human-computer interaction problems and communication problems in human-human dialogues. Under examination are utterances such as I do not understand (i.e. non-understanding), did you say that? (clarification), and did you mean that? (reformulation). The research aims to find answers as to which regularities (i.e. patterns) appear in the structure of utterances. To understand how interaction/communication problems are linguistically intimated, different kinds of dialogues are analyzed from the Estonian Dialogue Corpus. The data also includes dialogues from the Wizard of OZ (WOZ) experiments, where test participants (users) thought they were interacting with the dialogue system, but they were actually interacting with an experimenter (WOZ) via the Internet. The study examines the following questions: what causes communication problems; how are communication problems indicated; and how are communication problems resolved? The dissertation also contains other observations about human-computer interaction and communication between people. The results of the thesis are patterns and if-then rules for dialogue systems. The management of communication problems is one of the main issues when attempting to create and successfully run a dialogue system. One applied contribution of the dissertation is to offer creators of dialogue systems concrete advice in solving this issue.