OVR : a novel architecture for voice-based applications

Maema, Mathe (2011) OVR : a novel architecture for voice-based applications. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.

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Abstract

Despite the inherent limitation of accessing information serially, voice applications are increasingly growing in popularity as computing technologies advance. This is a positive development, because voice communication offers a number of benefits over other forms of communication. For example, voice may be better for delivering services to users whose eyes and hands may be engaged in other activities (e.g. driving) or to semi-literate or illiterate users. This thesis proposes a knowledge based architecture for building voice applications to help reduce the limitations of serial access to information. The proposed architecture, called OVR (Ontologies, VoiceXML and Reasoners), uses a rich backend that represents knowledge via ontologies and utilises reasoning engines to reason with it, in order to generate intelligent behaviour. Ontologies were chosen over other knowledge representation formalisms because of their expressivity and executable format, and because current trends suggest a general shift towards the use of ontologies in many systems used for information storing and sharing. For the frontend, this architecture uses VoiceXML, the emerging, and de facto standard for voice automated applications. A functional prototype was built for an initial validation of the architecture. The system is a simple voice application to help locate information about service providers that offer HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) testing. We called this implementation HTLS (HIV Testing Locator System). The functional prototype was implemented using a number of technologies. OWL API, a Java interface designed to facilitate manipulation of ontologies authored in OWL was used to build a customised query interface for HTLS. Pellet reasoner was used for supporting queries to the knowledge base and Drools (JBoss rule engine) was used for processing dialog rules. VXI was used as the VoiceXML browser and an experimental softswitch called iLanga as the bridge to the telephony system. (At the heart of iLanga is Asterisk, a well known PBX-in-a-box.) HTLS behaved properly under system testing, providing the sought initial validation of OVR.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Voice communication, Computer technology, Knowledge-based architecture, Information, Access, Storage, Retrieval, OVR, Knowledge, Ontologies, Reasoning engines, Backend, Frontend, VoiceXML, Hiv testing, HIV Testing Locator System, HTLS, Java interface, Query interface. Knowledge base, Telephony
Subjects:Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Computer Science
ID Code:3838
Deposited By: Philip Clarke
Deposited On:29 Oct 2012 07:33
Last Modified:29 Oct 2012 07:33
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