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Backchannel-Inviting Cues in Task-Oriented Dialogue

Hirschberg, Julia Bell; Gravano, Agustin

We examine BACKCHANNEL-INVITING CUES — distinct prosodic, acoustic and lexical events in the speaker’s speech that tend to precede a short response produced by the interlocutor to convey continued attention — in the Columbia Games Corpus, a large corpus of task-oriented dialogues. We show that the likelihood of occurrence of a backchannel increases quadratically with the number of cues conjointly displayed by the speaker. Our results are important for improving the coordination of conversational turns in interactive voice-response systems, so that systems can produce backchannels in appropriate places, and so that they can elicit backchannels from users in expected places.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Computer Science
Proceedings of Interspeech 2009
Published Here
April 29, 2013


Presentation slides are available at

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