Computational Linguistics & Phonetics Computational Linguistics & Phonetics Fachrichtung 4.7 Universität des Saarlandes

A talking elevator

Projektseminar: Computerlinguistik, 2. Studienabschnitt

Leitung: Magdalena Wolska, Jacques Koreman, Dietrich Klakow, Manfred Pinkal
Ort: Geb. C 72, Konferenzraum 2.11
Zeit: in arrangement with the participants
Beginn: in arrangement with the participants
Geeignet für: B.Sc./M.Sc.

The goal of the course is to give the students an opportunity to deepen their knowledge of speech and language technology and combine it with hands-on experience in building a speech-enabled dialogue system. The implementation concerns the addition of a speech interface to operate an elevator.
In the theoretical part of the project seminar students will learn to understand fundamental concepts in dialogue modelling. Since our dialogue system will use speech as a mode of interaction, the main focus of the course is on the ways in which speech can be analysed with the aim of speech recognition (understanding what is being said), language recognition (determining in what language it is said) and speaker recognition (determining who the speaker is). Teaching will be in English. The practical work will involve integration of off-the-shelf components (NUANCE, DIAMANT) into a simple prototype of an elevator interface. The credits for this part of the course are 5 LP for B.Sc. and M.Sc. students (with a differentiated practical workload in accordance with the level).
Students will be given an opportunity of extending the course into a software project, in which they will implement a complete multi-lingual system which can recognize speakers based on their voice. On the basis of the language recognition component, the system will select a language for interaction with the user. Recognition of the speaker?s identity can be used for example for the semantic interpretation of possessive pronouns (e.g. "Take me to my floor, please") or to address the speakers by their name. Upon completion of the course, the system will be actually installed in building C74. Study credits for the project seminar + software project will amount to 8 LP for M.Sc./M.A. students. (For B.Sc./B.A. students, the credits will be as for a full software project.)
Interested students should send an e-mail to .


  • D. Jurafsky and J. H. Martin. Speech and Language Processing. Chapter 19. Prentice Hall. 2000.
  • M.McTear. Spoken dialogue technology: Enabling the conversational user interface. ACM Computing Surveys, 34(1):90-169, 2002.

    Recommended skills: scripting for Windows/Linux (project seminar), programming skills (software project)

    Credits are awarded upon successful completion of practical work and a final presentation. For the software project, a written report together with a description of the code and the code itself are required.

    Stellung im Studienplan
    M.Sc. CoLi: Vertiefungsveranstaltung in any of the specialisations;
    B.Sc. Regelstudienzeit 5. Semester;
    M.Sc. standard time slot 2nd semester.

    als Projektseminar im B.Sc. 5 LP;
    as project seminar in M.Sc. Program 5 LP;
    als Softwareprojekt im B.Sc. 12 LP;
    as software project in M.Sc. Program 10 LP ?? subject to change!