User Experience in Human-Technology Interaction. Communication, context and evaluation methodology. Díaz Pardo, D. Ph.D. Thesis, Departamento de Señales, Sistemas y Radiocomunicaciones, Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería de Telecomuniación, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid.
User Experience in Human-Technology Interaction. Communication, context and evaluation methodology [link]Paper  abstract   bibtex   
This Thesis presents two related lines of research work contributing to the general fields of Human-Technology (or Machine) Interaction (HTI, or HMI), computational linguistics, and user experience evaluation. These two lines are the design and user-focused evaluation of advanced Human-Machine (or Technology) Interaction systems. The first part of the Thesis (Chapters 2 to 4) is centred on advanced HMI system design. Chapter 2 provides a background overview of the state of research in multimodal conversational systems. This sets the stage for the research work presented in the rest of the Thesis. Chapers 3 and 4 focus on two major aspects of HMI design in detail: a generalised dialogue manager for context-aware multimodal HMI, and embodied conversational agents (ECAs, or animated agents) to improve dialogue robustness, respectively. Chapter 3, on dialogue management, deals with how to handle information heterogeneity, both from the communication modalities or from external sensors. A highly abstracted architectural contribution based on State Chart XML is proposed. Chapter 4 presents a contribution for the internal representation of communication intentions and their translation into gestural sequences for an ECA, especially designed to improve robustness in critical dialogue situations such as when miscommunication occurs. We propose an extension of the functionality of Functional Mark-up Language, as envisaged in much of the work in the SAIBA framework. Our extension allows the representation of communication acts that carry intentions that are not for the interlocutor to know of, but which are made to influence him or her as well as the flow of the dialogue itself. This is achieved through a design element we have called the Communication Intention Base. Such r pr s ntation of ``non- clar '' int ntions allows th construction of communication acts that carry several communication intentions simultaneously. Also in Chapter 4, an experimental system is described which allows (simulated) remote control to a home automation assistant, with biometric (speaker) authentication to grant access, featuring embodied conversation agents for each of the tasks. The discussion includes a description of the behavioural sequences for the ECAs, which were designed for specific dialogue situations with particular attention given to the objective of improving dialogue robustness. Chapters 5 to 7 form the evaluation part of the Thesis. Chapter 5 reviews evaluation approaches in the literature for information technologies, as well as in particular for speech-based interaction systems, that are useful precedents to the contributions of the present Thesis. The main evaluation precedents on which the work in this Thesis has built are the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), the Subjective Assessment of Speech System Interfaces (SASSI) tool, and ITU-T Recommendation P.851. Chapter 6 presents the author's work in establishing an valuation framework and methodology applied to the users' experience with multimodal HMI systems. A novel user-acceptance Subjective Quality Evaluation Framework was developed by the author specifically for this purpose. A class structure arises from two orthogonal sets of dimensions. First we identify three broad classes of parameters related with user acceptance: likeability factors (those that have to do with the experience of using the system), rejection factors (which can only have a negative valence) and perception of usefulness. Secondly, the class structure is further broken down into several ``user perception levels''; at the very least: an overall system-assessment level, task and goal-related levels, and an interface level (e.g., a dialogue system with or without an ECA). An empirical evaluation of the system described in Chapter 4 is presented in Chapter 7. The study was based on the abovementioned precedents in the literature, expanded with categories covering the inclusion of an ECA, the users' s lf-assessed emotions, and particular rejection factors (privacy and security concerns). The Subjective Quality Evaluation Framework proposed in the previous chapter was also scrutinised. Factor analyses revealed an item structure very much related conceptually to the usefulness-likeability-rejection class division introduced above, thus giving it some empirical weight. Regression-based analysis revealed structures of dependencies, paths of interrelations, between the subjective and objective parameters considered. The central mediation effect, in the Technology Acceptance Model, of perceived usefulness on the dependency relationship of intention-to-use with perceived ease of use was confirmed in this study. Furthermore, the pattern of relationships was stronger for variables covering more broadly the likeability and usefulness categories in the Subjective Quality Evaluation Framework. Rejection factors were found to have a distinct presence as components in factor analyses, as well as distinct behaviour: they were found to moderate the relationship between intention-to-use (the main measure of user acceptance) and its strongest predictor, perceived usefulness. Insights of secondary importance are also given regarding the effect of ECAs on the interface of spoken dialogue systems and the dimensions of user perception and judgement attitude that may have a role in determining user acceptance of the technology. Despite observing slightly better performance values in the case of the system with the ECA, subjective opinions regarding both systems were, overall, very similar. Minor differences between two experimental groups (one interacting with an ECA, the other only through speech) include a more direct effect of dialogue problems (e.g., non-understandings) on perceived dialogue robustness for the voice-only interface test group, and a more positive emotional response for the ECA test group. Our findings further suggest that the ECA generates higher initial expectations, and users seem slightly more confident in their interaction with the ECA than do those without it. Finally, mild evidence of social effects of ECAs was also found: the perceived friendliness of the ECA increased security concerns, and ECA users may tend to blame themselves rather than the system when dialogue problems are encountered, while the opposite may be true for voice-only users.
@phdthesis{diaz_pardo_user_2014,
	Address = {Madrid},
	Author = {Díaz Pardo, David},
	Date = {2014},
	Date-Modified = {2016-09-23 19:24:04 +0000},
	Keywords = {assessment, conversational agents, dialogue systems, speech technology},
	School = {Departamento de Señales, Sistemas y Radiocomunicaciones, Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería de Telecomuniación, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid},
	Title = {User Experience in Human-Technology Interaction. Communication, context and evaluation methodology},
	Url = {http://oa.upm.es/28992/},
	Abstract = {This Thesis presents two related lines of research work contributing to the general fields of Human-Technology (or Machine) Interaction (HTI, or HMI), computational linguistics, and user experience evaluation. These two lines are the design and user-focused evaluation of advanced Human-Machine (or Technology) Interaction systems. The first part of the Thesis (Chapters 2 to 4) is centred on advanced HMI system design. Chapter 2 provides a background overview of the state of research in multimodal conversational systems. This sets the stage for the research work presented in the rest of the Thesis. Chapers 3 and 4 focus on two major aspects of HMI design in detail: a generalised dialogue manager for context-aware multimodal HMI, and embodied conversational agents (ECAs, or animated agents) to improve dialogue robustness, respectively. Chapter 3, on dialogue management, deals with how to handle information heterogeneity, both from the communication modalities or from external sensors. A highly abstracted architectural contribution based on State Chart XML is proposed. Chapter 4 presents a contribution for the internal representation of communication intentions and their translation into gestural sequences for an ECA, especially designed to improve robustness in critical dialogue situations such as when miscommunication occurs. We propose an extension of the functionality of Functional Mark-up Language, as envisaged in much of the work in the SAIBA framework. Our extension allows the representation of communication acts that carry intentions that are not for the interlocutor to know of, but which are made to influence him or her as well as the flow of the dialogue itself. This is achieved through a design element we have called the Communication Intention Base. Such r pr s ntation of ``non- clar '' int ntions allows th construction of communication acts that carry several communication intentions simultaneously. Also in Chapter 4, an experimental system is described which allows (simulated) remote control to a home automation assistant, with biometric (speaker) authentication to grant access, featuring embodied conversation agents for each of the tasks. The discussion includes a description of the behavioural sequences for the ECAs, which were designed for specific dialogue situations with particular attention given to the objective of improving dialogue robustness. Chapters 5 to 7 form the evaluation part of the Thesis. Chapter 5 reviews evaluation approaches in the literature for information technologies, as well as in particular for speech-based interaction systems, that are useful precedents to the contributions of the present Thesis. The main evaluation precedents on which the work in this Thesis has built are the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), the Subjective Assessment of Speech System Interfaces (SASSI) tool, and ITU-T Recommendation P.851. Chapter 6 presents the author's work in establishing an valuation framework and methodology applied to the users' experience with multimodal HMI systems. A novel user-acceptance Subjective Quality Evaluation Framework was developed by the author specifically for this purpose. A class structure arises from two orthogonal sets of dimensions. First we identify three broad classes of parameters related with user acceptance: likeability factors (those that have to do with the experience of using the system), rejection factors (which can only have a negative valence) and perception of usefulness. Secondly, the class structure is further broken down into several ``user perception levels''; at the very least: an overall system-assessment level, task and goal-related levels, and an interface level (e.g., a dialogue system with or without an ECA). An empirical evaluation of the system described in Chapter 4 is presented in Chapter 7. The study was based on the abovementioned precedents in the literature, expanded with categories covering the inclusion of an ECA, the users' s lf-assessed emotions, and particular rejection factors (privacy and security concerns). The Subjective Quality Evaluation Framework proposed in the previous chapter was also scrutinised. Factor analyses revealed an item structure very much related conceptually to the usefulness-likeability-rejection class division introduced above, thus giving it some empirical weight. Regression-based analysis revealed structures of dependencies, paths of interrelations, between the subjective and objective parameters considered. The central mediation effect, in the Technology Acceptance Model, of perceived usefulness on the dependency relationship of intention-to-use with perceived ease of use was confirmed in this study. Furthermore, the pattern of relationships was stronger for variables covering more broadly the likeability and usefulness categories in the Subjective Quality Evaluation Framework. Rejection factors were found to have a distinct presence as components in factor analyses, as well as distinct behaviour: they were found to moderate the relationship between intention-to-use (the main measure of user acceptance) and its strongest predictor, perceived usefulness. Insights of secondary importance are also given regarding the effect of ECAs on the interface of spoken dialogue systems and the dimensions of user perception and judgement attitude that may have a role in determining user acceptance of the technology. Despite observing slightly better performance values in the case of the system with the ECA, subjective opinions regarding both systems were, overall, very similar. Minor differences between two experimental groups (one interacting with an ECA, the other only through speech) include a more direct effect of dialogue problems (e.g., non-understandings) on perceived dialogue robustness for the voice-only interface test group, and a more positive emotional response for the ECA test group. Our findings further suggest that the ECA generates higher initial expectations, and users seem slightly more confident in their interaction with the ECA than do those without it. Finally, mild evidence of social effects of ECAs was also found: the perceived friendliness of the ECA increased security concerns, and ECA users may tend to blame themselves rather than the system when dialogue problems are encountered, while the opposite may be true for voice-only users.},
	Bdsk-Url-1 = {http://oa.upm.es/28992/}}
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