Organizing Committee: David Traum, Jens Edlund, Nigel Ward

Background
Natural Human dialogue (especially multiparty dialogue) contains many instances of more than one person talking at the same time. Types of overlap include

  • backchannels - in which one person is agreeing or indicating understanding of what another person is saying
  • completions - in which one person trys to help the other complete their utterance (while the first one is still speaking)
  • reactions - in which one party reacts to or follows up from the previous utterance before it is completed or when the first speaker is trying to say something more.
  • interruptions - in which one party tries to say something new or unrelated
  • floor battle - in which two speakers compete for the floor.
  • side-talk - talk simulaneous with the main speaker that is meant for someone other than the main speaker (Goffman's byplay, crossplay, and sideplay)
These kinds of phenomena are pervasive in informal human interaction, and are highly correlated with real-time, engaged behavior. However current dialogue systems have only a very limited ability to engage in this kind of behavior.

Workshop Goals
The goal of this workshop is to explore details of overlap in human dialogue and discuss how best to extend current dialogue systems and architectures to engage in more human-like overlap behavior. This workshop will immediately preceed the SEMDIAL 2011 Los Angelogue workshop at the Institute for Creative Technologies of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Workshop Format
The format of the workshop will include talks on overlap in human dialogue, demos, talks and proposals about overlap in human-computer dialogue, plenary discussion sessions, and time permitting, small break-out groups analysizing overlap data and discussing policies for overlap in computer dialogue systems.

Submission
The workshop will not include archival publication of new papers. Details on the application procedure are on the submission page.

We invite several kinds of contributions to the workshop, including

  • presentation of data sets involving overlap in human-human or human-computer dialogue
  • Analysis of overlap in human dialogue, especially studies of the correlation of frequency and type of overlap to other factors such as
    • the language, culture, number and/or social roles of the participants
    • the task they are engaged in
    • other aspects of the context in which the dialogue takes place
    • the specific content and functions of the overlapping dialogue
    • cross-modality overlap
  • models of dialogue processing (understanding and generation), including overlap
  • demos of computer systems that can engage in meaningful, human-like overlap
  • discussion or break-out group topics
  • links to or other bibliographic info on publications concerning overlap
Contact traum@ict.usc.edu