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  • 1.
    Coen, Michael
    et al.
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
    Weisman, Luke
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
    Thomas, Kavita Elisheba
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
    Groh, Marian
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
    A Context Sensitive Natural Language Modality for an Intelligent Room1999In: Managing Interactions in Smart Environments: 1st International Workshop on Managing Interactions in Smart Environments (MANSE’99), Dublin, December 1999 / [ed] Nixon, Paddy, Lacey, Gerard and Dobson, Simon, London: Springer-Verlag , 1999, p. 68-79Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper describes the design and implementation of a natural language interface to a highly interactive space known as the Intelligent Room.

  • 2.
    Fraser, Colin
    et al.
    University of Edinburgh.
    Halpin, Harry
    University of Edinburgh.
    Thomas, Kavita Elisheba
    University of Edinburgh.
    Developing an Argumentation Ontology for Mailing Lists2006In: Artificial Intelligence: Methodology, Systems, and Applications: 12th International Conference, AIMSA 2006, Varna, Bulgaria, September 12-15, 2006. Proceedings, Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2006, Vol. 4183, p. 150-161Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Managing emails from list-servs is an open problem that we believe may be partially resolved by the introduction of a principled, argumentation-based approach towards their representation. We propose an argumentation ontology, called “Argontonaut,” which has been developed for the domain of standards-driven W3C mailing lists. We use the extensible nature of RDF to fuse an argumentation-based approach with one grounded in an issue-management system. We motivate our ontology with reference to the domain and propose future work in this area.

  • 3.
    Li, Yingli
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Industrial Development, IT and Land Management.
    Ye, Heshan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Industrial Development, IT and Land Management.
    How to achieve a strategic sustainable supply chain management (SSCM)?: A case study of Swedish Global enterprise in wire and cable industry-Habia Cable2014Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The concept of sustainability has become a buzzword in today’s business marketplace. Particularly, the incorporation of sustainability into Supply Chain Management (SCM) has received a great deal of attention from companies of all sizes and even involved a wide range of industries in recent years. Meanwhile, Sustainable Supply Chain Management (SSCM) has been highlighted by academic and corporations. With SSCM, more enterprises have benefited from being sustainable in their daily operations. Although research has made contributions, there is still a lack of understanding on how to achieve sustainable development in SCM. Therefore, the overall purpose of this research is to find out the key success factors for implementing the strategic SSCM. To achieve this target, it is necessary to identify appropriate indicators to measure the sustainable activities and figure out the relationship that combined social and environmental dimensions with supply chain activities. This research focused on Swedish global company. Both summaries of literature review and findings of the case company were analyzed to satisfy the research purpose, as a result, definition of sustainability, implementations in SSCM, and the relationship between sustainability and SCM that are based on the actual situations of the case company were presented. After that, five key success factors for implementing the strategic SSCM have been concluded: (1) SSCM needs to be ensured as a strategy within long-term consideration; (2) Standard management system needs to be complied with daily operations; (3) Communication with stakeholders needs to be increased in the supply chain; (4) Respect for human rights, and provide safety working environment; (5) Control resources usage and reduce negative emission to the environment. Accomplish of this research, on the one hand, it clarified the relationship between sustainability and SCM; on the other hand, it also deepened knowledge about how to achieve a strategic SSCM based on an empirical study in wire and cable manufacturing industry.

  • 4.
    Ross, Robert J.
    et al.
    University of Bremen.
    Thomas, Kavita Elisheba
    University of Bremen.
    An Empirically-based model for Perspective Selection in Route-Finding Dialogues2010Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 5.
    Tenbrink, Thora
    et al.
    University of Bremen.
    Ross, Robert J.
    University of Bremen.
    Thomas, Kavita E.
    University of Bremen.
    Dethlefs, Nina
    University of Bremen.
    Andonova, Elena
    University of Bremen.
    Route instructions in map-based human–human and human–computer dialogue: A comparative analysis2010In: Journal of Visual Languages and Computing, ISSN 1045-926X, E-ISSN 1095-8533, Vol. 21, no 5, p. 292-309Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    When conveying information about spatial situations and goals, speakers adapt flexibly to their addressee in order to reach the communicative goal efficiently and effortlessly. Our aim is to equip a dialogue system with the abilities required for such a natural, adaptive dialogue. In this paper we investigate the strategies people use to convey route information in relation to a map by presenting two parallel studies involving human–human and human–computer interaction. We compare the instructions given to a human interaction partner with those given to a dialogue system which reacts by basic verbal responses and dynamic visualization of the route in the map. The language produced by human route givers is analyzed with respect to a range of communicative as well as cognitively crucial features, particularly perspective choice and references to locations across levels of granularity. Results reveal that speakers produce systematically different instructions with respect to these features, depending on the nature of the interaction partner, human or dialogue system. Our further analysis of clarification and reference resolution strategies produced by human route followers provides insights into dialogue strategies that future systems should be equipped with.

  • 6.
    Thomas, Kavita Elisheba
    University of Edinburgh.
    But What Do They Mean? An Exploration Into the Range of Cross-Turn Expectations Denied by “But”2004In: Proceedings of the 5th SIGdial Workshop on Discourse and Dialogue: 5th SIGdial, 2004Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper we hypothesise that Denial of Expectation (DofE) across turns in dialogue signalled by “but” can involve a range of different expectations, i.e., not just causal expectations, as  argued in the literature. We will argue for this hypothesis and outline a methodology to distinguish the relations these denied expectations convey. Finally we will demonstrate the practical utility of this hypothesis by showing how it can improve generation of appropriate responses to DofE and decrease the likelihood of misunderstandings based on incorrectly interpreting these underlying cross-speaker relations.

  • 7.
    Thomas, Kavita Elisheba
    University of Edinburgh.
    But What Do They Mean?: Modelling Contrast Between Speakers in Dialogue Signalled by “But”2005Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Understanding what is being communicated in a dialogue involves determining how it is coherent, that is, how the successive turns in the dialogue are related, what the speakers’ intentions, goals, beliefs, and expectations are and how they relate to each other’s responses. This thesis aims to address how turns in dialogue are related when one speaker indicates contrast with something in the preceding discourse signalled by “but”. Different relations cued by “but” will be distinguished and characterised when they relate material spanning speaker turns and an implementation in a working dialogue system is specified with the aim of enabling a better model of dialogue understanding and achieving more precise response generation.

    A large amount of research in discourse addresses coherence in monologue, and much of it focuses on cases in which the coherence relation is explicitly signalled via a cue-phrase or discourse marker (e.g., “on the other hand”, “but”, et cetera) which provides an explicit cue about the nature of the underlying relation linking the two clauses. However despite research on Speech Acts, planning research into speakers’ intentions, and semantic approaches to question-answering dialogues, very little work has focused on coherence relations across turns in dialogue even given the presence of a cue-phrase.

    This thesis will explore what sorts of relations the speaker of the “but” perceives between elements in the dialogue, and in particular, it will focus on “but”s communicating Denial of Expectation, Concession, and Correction by determining what underlying cross-turn expectations are denied in the former two, and what is being corrected in the latter case. We will extend work by Lagerwerf (1998) in monologue which presents a treatment for Denial of Expectation and Concession arguing that “but” implicates a defeasible expectation which is then denied (in Denial of Expectation) or argued against (in Concession). We also follow Knott’s approach (Knott, 1999a) of describing the semantics of a cue-phrase algorithmically from the agent’s mental model of the related utterances.

    Task-oriented and nontask-oriented spoken dialogues involving turn-initial “but” are examined, motivating a logical scheme whereby Denial of Expectation, Concession and Correction can be distinguished. These relations are then modelled in the PTT  (Poesio and Traum, 1998) Information State (Matheson, Poesio and Traum, 2000) model of dialogue, enabling more relevant response generation in dialogue systems. A systematic response deliberation scheme based on the speakers’ underlying beliefs is proposed based on the analysis and modelling of relations presented in this thesis.

  • 8.
    Thomas, Kavita Elisheba
    Carnegie Mellon University.
    Designing a Task-Based Evaluation Methodology for a Spoken Machine Translation System1999In: Proceedings of the 37th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 1999, 1999Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, I discuss issues pertinent to the design of a task-based evaluation methodology for a spoken machine translation (MT) system processing human to human communication rather than human to machine communication. I claim that system mediated human to human communication requires new evaluation criteria and metrics based on goal complexity and the speaker's prioritization of goals.

  • 9.
    Thomas, Kavita Elisheba
    University of Edinburgh.
    Determing a Semantics for Imperatives in Instructions2000Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years))Student thesis
    Abstract [en]

    This Masters thesis aims to determine the requirements of a semantics for imperatives in the domain of navigation instructions. Pragmatic and semantic theories and computational approaches to imperatives will be examined. The overall aim is to bridge the gap between natural language imperatives and their interpretation in a logic of action, and to determine what is required to represent a range of linguistic phenomena from a corpus of navigation instructions. A grammar providing an underspecified semantic representation of simple imperatives is presented and issues of what type of interpretation should  be performed at which level in a hypothetical architecture for interpreting imperatives are discussed.

  • 10.
    Thomas, Kavita Elisheba
    University of Bremen.
    Investigation of Age-Differentiated Spatial Semantic Elaboration Strategies for Communicating Route Instructions2013In: Universal Access in the Information Society, ISSN 1615-5289, E-ISSN 1615-5297, Vol. 12, no 2, p. 175-190Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

     This paper investigates the effect of spatial semantic elaboration strategies on young and older participants' performance and preferences in a route drawing task where participants read route instructions and then drew the route on a map. In particular, an elaborated form of spatial perspective that communicated the route instruction in both egocentric and allocentric perspectives was compared against just the egocentric or allocentric perspective instructions individually.

    Additionally, route instruction granularity was varied to compare elaborated hierarchical instructions which communicated goal and landmark information with flat instructions. The results of the experiment showed that older participants performed best with least confusion in the allocentric perspective with flat granularity, but that they benefited from semantic elaboration when less optimal spatial strategies were used, unlike young participants who performed best with the mixed (i.e., elaborated) perspective and flat granularity. The experiment showed that older participants actually suffered from what might be information overload when excess semantic elaboration was provided, as was likely the case with the use of the mixed perspective, which confused them considerably. In addition, hierarchical granularity was only beneficial in confusing spatial perspectives, while it detracted from older participants' performance in their optimal perspective, showing that there is a fine balance to be struck between beneficial semantic elaboration and information overload.

  • 11.
    Thomas, Kavita Elisheba
    University of Edinburgh.
    Modelling “but” in Task-Oriented Dialogue2003In: Lecture Notes in Computer Science, ISSN 0302-9743, E-ISSN 1611-3349, Vol. 2680, p. 314-327Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We determine criteria for modelling plan-based “but” in task-oriented dialogue (TOD), following work by Lagerwerf [5] and focusing on cases in which it signals denial of expectation (DofE) and concession, to which end we propose a novel treatment of concession in TOD. We present initial considerations for an algorithm to address plan-based “but” in an Information State (IS) model of dialogue that predicts which interpretations (DofE and/or concessive) to generate. We motivate this work by showing how it updates beliefs in the PTT [6] model of dialogue and can be used to facilitate recognition of planning mismatches and more generally, discourse understanding and natural language generation (NLG).

  • 12.
    Thomas, Kavita Elisheba
    University of Edinburgh.
    Modelling Contrast Across Speakers in Task-Oriented Dialogue : the Case of Denial of Expectation2003In: Proceedings of the Workshop on Multidisciplinary Approaches to Discourse 2003: MAD 2003, 2003Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, we distinguish between plan-based Denial of Expectation (DofE) signalled by “but”, which occurs in task-oriented (TOD) only, and the more commonly researched expectation-based case in TOD and non-task-oriented dialogue (NTOD). We present an algorithm for DofE which addresses plan-based “but” cases in TOD.We address how indirect Speech Acts (SAs) need to be resolved in order to address many of these cases and present a mechanism to do so in TOD within the IS framework. We then argue that this treatment of DofE can be extended to address generation of plan-based DofE in monologue with very few modifications.

  • 13.
    Thomas, Kavita Elisheba
    University of Edinburgh.
    Modelling Correction Signalled by 'But' in Dialogue2006In: brandial'06: Proceedings of the 10th Workshop on the Semantics and Pragmatics of Dialogue (SemDial-10) / [ed] David Schlangen and Raquel Fernández, Potsdam: Universitätsverlag Potsdam , 2006, p. 34-41Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Claiming that cross-speaker .but. can signal correction in dialogue, we start by describing the types of corrections .but. can communicate by focusing on the Speech Act (SA) communicated in the previous turn and address the ways in which .but. can correct what is communicated.

    We address whether .but. corrects the proposition, the direct SA or the discourse relation communicated in the previous turn. We will also briey address other relations signalled by cross-turn .but.. After presenting a typology of the situations .but. can correct, we will address how these corrections can be modelled in the Information State model of dialogue, motivating this work by showing how it can be used to potentially avoid misunderstandings. We wrap up by showing how the model presented here updates beliefs in the Information State representation of the dialogue and can be used to facilitate response deliberation.

  • 14. Thomas, Kavita Elisheba
    Modelling Plan-Based and Expectation-Based “But” in Dialogue2004In: Sprache und Datenverarbeitung (SDV) International Journal for Language and Data Processing, ISSN 0343-5202, Vol. 28, no 1, p. 59-70Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper addresses the distinction between plan-based and expectation-based “but”, focusing on dialogue-specific cross-turn “but” which relates material across speakers. We focus here on cases in which it signals denial of expectation (DofE) and concession following work by Lagerwerf (1998) and Knott (1999a). We will unify prior treatments (Thomas, 2003a; Thomas, 2003b) of plan-based and expectation-based DofE “but” and present a single algorithm that models both phenomena in the PTT (Poesio and Traum, 1998) Information State (IS, Matheson et al., 2000) model of dialogue. We also propose a novel treatment of concession in Task-Oriented Dialogue (TOD). We motivate this work by showing how it predicts speakers’ expectations and can be implemented in the IS model of dialogue to facilitate discourse understanding and natural language generation (NLG).

  • 15.
    Thomas, Kavita Elisheba
    et al.
    University of Bremen.
    Andonova, Elena
    University of Bremen.
    Co-ordination of spatial perspectives in response to addressee feedback: Effects of perceived addressee understanding2012In: Pragmatics and cognition, ISSN ISSN 0929-0907, Vol. 20, no 3, p. 505-545Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper we investigate the effect of level of understanding revealed by feedback in the form of clarification requests from a route follower on a route giver’s spatial perspective choice in their response in route instruction dialogues. In an experiment varying the level of understanding displayed by route follower clarification requests (the independent variable), route giver perspective switching in response to this feedback is investigated. Three levels of understanding displayed by feedback are investigated: (1) low-level clarification requests indicating that the instruction was not processed, (2) semantic-level clarification requests indicating that the spatial direction given in the instruction could not be resolved as the speaker of the clarification request could not interpret which perspective was intended, and (3) high-level feedback which indicates that the route giver’s instruction was understood but which note an obstacle to following the instruction. Results show that perspective choice, which is a conceptual feature of language use, is sensitive to perceived level of addressee understanding. We found that route givers consistently switch perspectives in responding to semantic-level clarification requests but not in response to low-level ones, and also that switching occurs more for high-level feedback than for low-level feedback. We address how dialogue systems can take advantage of these findings by modelling our results in an Information State model of dialogue, presenting update rules for response generation which account for our findings and also update rules which enable generation of the feedback themselves.

  • 16.
    Thomas, Kavita Elisheba
    et al.
    University of Edinburgh.
    Matheson, Colin
    University of Edinburgh.
    Modelling Concession Across Speakers in Task-Oriented Dialogue2003In: DiaBruck 2003: proceedings of the 7th workshop on The semantics and pragmatics of dialogue / [ed] Ivana Kruijff-Korbayová, Claudia Kosny, Universität des Saarlandes , 2003Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We determine criteria for modelling

    concession signalled via plan-based

    “but” in task-oriented dialogue (TOD)

    (following (Thomas, 2003)) based

    on some examples from the corpora,

    analysing where Speech Act (SA) and

    planning information fails to predict

    concession. In our approach we focus

    on cases involving cross-speaker

    concession, where the speaker accepts

    part of the previous speaker’s turn but

    signals contrast via “but”, and we argue

    that this contrast can (in the examples

    shown) be modelled as concessive.

    Then given a representation of task-plan

    history in the Information State (IS)

    model of the dialogue, we present an

    initial framework for an algorithm that

    predicts concessive interpretation across

    speakers in two situations encountered

    in the corpora. We motivate this work

    by showing how it updates beliefs in the

    PTT (Poesio and Traum, 1998) model

    of dialogue and can be used to facilitate

    recognition of planning mismatches and

    potentially avoid misunderstandings,

    and more generally improve discourse

    understanding and natural language

    generation (NLG).

  • 17.
    Thomas, Kavita Elisheba
    et al.
    University of Edinburgh.
    Matheson, Colin
    University of Edinburgh.
    Modelling Denial of Expectation in Dialogue2004In: Proceedings of the Fifth International Workshop in Computational Semantics: IWCS-5, 2004Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 18.
    Thomas, Kavita Elisheba
    et al.
    University of Edinburgh.
    Matheson, Colin
    University of Edinburgh.
    Modelling Denial of Expectation in Dialogue: Issues in Interpretation and Generation2002In: Proceedings of the 6th Annual Computational Linguistics United Kingdom Research Colloquium: CLUK-6, 2002Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We aim to model the semantics of “but” in dialogue, focusing on cases in which it signals denial of expectation (DofE) across speakers. We present an algorithm that predicts the defeated expectation from the perspective of the hearer of the DofE, and we consider differences between task-oriented dialogue (TOD) and non-task-oriented dialogue (NTOD). We motivate this work by showing how it updates beliefs in an Information State (IS) model of dialogue and can be used to facilitate discourse understanding and natural language generation (NLG).

  • 19.
    Thomas, Kavita Elisheba
    et al.
    University of Aberdeen.
    Noordzij, Matthijs
    University of Twente.
    Sripada, Somayajulu
    University of Aberdeen.
    Atlas.txt: Exploring Linguistic Grounding Techniques for Communicating Spatial Information to Blind Users2012In: Universal Access in the Information Society, ISSN 1615-5289, E-ISSN 1615-5297, Vol. 11, no 1, p. 85-98Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

     This paper describes exploratory research into automatically describing geo-referenced information to blind

    people. The goal is to produce texts giving an overview describing the spatial layout, and a central concern of such texts

    is that they employ an appropriate linguistic reference frame which enables blind hearers to ground the information. We

    hypothesise that (1) directly perceivable reference frames are easier to ground and also that (2) spatial descriptions

    drawn from composite reference frame systems composed of more than one reference frame are easier to ground. An

    experiment exploring text comprehension on a range of texts employing different reference frame systems is presented.

    The main results indicate that the second hypothesis is supported. A prototype of a natural language generation system

    which generates texts describing geo-referenced information from data is described.

  • 20.
    Thomas, Kavita Elisheba
    et al.
    Future Applications Lab, Viktoria Institute.
    Proske, Pierre
    Future Applications Lab, Viktoria Institute.
    Rickardsson, Mattias
    Future Applications Lab, Viktoria Institute.
    Intelligent Fridge Poetry Magnets2006In: Proceedings of the 11th international conference on Intelligent user interfaces, 2006, p. 315-317Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Exemplifying the aims of the ECAgents project, this paper presents a community of communicating embodied agents which learn an adjacency-based grammar from user interactions. The agents act as intelligent fridge magnets, each printing a word on their respective displays. The user places agents next to other agents on the fridge, removing and replacing them if the word they display is ungrammatical given the current context, thereby indicating grammatical acceptability. We present these agents both as a test bed for exploring research into ECAgents and as a means of investigating how users respond to expressive devices like fridge poetry magnets which learn from user interaction.

  • 21.
    Thomas, Kavita Elisheba
    et al.
    University of Aberdeen.
    Sripada, Somayajulu
    University of Aberdeen.
    Atlas.txt: Linking Geo-referenced Data to Text2007In: Proceedings of the 11th European Workshop on Natural Language Generation (ENLG 07) / [ed] Stephan Busemann, 2007, p. 163-166Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Geo-referenced data which are often communicated via maps are inaccessible to the visually impaired population. We summarise existing approaches to improving accessibility of geo-referenced data and present the Atlas.txt project which aims to produce textual summaries of such data which can be read out via a screenreader. We outline issues involved in generating descriptions of geo-referenced data and present initial work on content determination based on knowledge acquisition from both parallel corpus analysis and input from visually impaired people. In our corpus analysis we build an ontology containing abstract representations of expert-written sentences which we associate with macros containing sequences of data analysis methods. This helps us to identify which data analysis methods need to be applied to generate text from data.

  • 22.
    Thomas, Kavita Elisheba
    et al.
    University of Aberdeen.
    Sripada, Somayajulu
    University of Aberdeen.
    What's in a Message? Interpreting Geo-referenced Data for the Visually-impaired2008In: Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Natural Language Generation 2008: INLG 2008, 2008, p. 113-120Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper we describe content determination issues involved in the Atlas.txt project, which aims to automatically describe georeferenced information such as census data as text for the visually-impaired (VI). Texts communicating geo-referenced census information contain census data abstractions and their corresponding geographic references. Because visually impaired users find interpreting geographic references hard, we hypothesized that an introduction message about the underlying geography should help the users to interpret the geographic references easily. We performed user studies to design and evaluate the introduction message. An initial evaluation study with several sighted users and one partially sighted user showed that an introduction message is certainly preferred by most participants. Many of them used an introduction message themselves when they described maps textually. But the study also showed that the introduction message made no difference when the participants were asked to draw maps using the information in the textual descriptions.

  • 23.
    Thomas, Kavita Elisheba
    et al.
    University of Aberdeen.
    Sumegi, Livia
    University of Ottawa.
    Ferres, Leo
    University of Ottawa.
    Sripada, Somayajulu
    University of Aberdeen.
    Enabling access to geo-referenced information : Atlas.txt2008In: Proceedings of the 2008 international cross-disciplinary conference on Web accessibility (W4A), New York: ACM Digital Library, 2008, p. 101-104Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We present Atlas.txt, a novel data-to-text natural language generation system which enables access to geo-referenced information like online census data. We first discuss initial findings from an accessibility study on geo-referenced data and outline needs requirements for visually-impaired users of such data. We then present work towards realising our data-to-text system and indicate how it aims to address this issue.

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