Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Source

Proceedings of the 8th ACM SIGCHI Symposium on Engineering Interactive Computing Systems


Specifying and implementing flexible human-computer dialogs, such as those used in kiosks, is complex because of the numerous and varied directions in which each user might steer a dialog. The objective of this research is to improve dialog specification and implementation. To do so we developed a model for specifying and staging mixed-initiative dialogs. The model involves a dialog authoring notation, based on concepts from programming languages, for specifying a variety of unsolicited reporting, mixed-initiative dialogs in a concise representation that serves as a design for dialog implementation. Guided by this foundation, we built a dialog staging engine which operationalizes dialogs specified in this notation. The model, notation, and engine help automate the engineering of mixed-initiative dialog systems. These results also provide a proof-of-concept for dialog specification and implementation from the perspective of theoretical programming languages. The ubiquity of dialogs in domains such as travel, education, and health care with the increased use of interactive voice-response systems and virtual environments provide a fertile landscape for further investigation of these results.

Inclusive pages




Document Version



The document made available for download is the authors' accepted manuscript, provided in compliance with the publisher's policy on self-archiving. It was presented at the 8th ACM SIGCHI Symposium on Engineering Interactive Computing Systems in June 2016 in Brussels, Belgium. For the version of record, use the DOI or ISBN provided.


Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)

Place of Publication

New York, NY

Link to published version