Wizard of Oz Experiments on Speech Dialogue Systems

Project Type: Master/Diploma Thesis
Student: Petrik Stefan
Mentor: Gernot Kubin


 The Wizard of Oz simulation technique is an approved aid for designing speech dialogue systems. There are a number of tools for simulation which have been used successfully, but which are inflexible in terms of the application domain, support for additional modalities, or integration with existing dialogue design tools. This thesis describes the design and realisation of Wizard of Oz experiments with a new, application-independent simulation environment which is fully integrated into the dialogue design process. First, the Wizard of Oz technique is presented in detail along with a thorough review of prior art in this field to collect requirements for the new simulation environment. The process of designing and conducting a Wizard of Oz study is then analysed, before the new environment and the underlying concepts are introduced. Apart from the application-independence, extensibility, and integration into the dialogue design process, the main innovation is a new dialogue structure representation for Wizard of Oz experimentation which is based on hierarchies instead of the commonly used graphs. In two evaluations, the new environment is tested, critically reviewed, and confirmed to be usable. Finally, useful extensions to the simulation environment and the dialogue representation are discussed and ideas for future work are collected.