Universal Access in the Information Society

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 374-392

First online:

Adaptation and user expertise modelling in AthosMail

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This article describes the User Model component of AthosMail, a speech-based interactive e-mail application developed in the context of the EU project DUMAS. The focus is on the system’s adaptive capabilities and user expertise modelling, exemplified through the User Model parameters dealing with initiative and explicitness of the system responses. The purpose of the conducted research was to investigate how the users could interact with a system in a more natural way, and the two aspects that mainly influence the system’s interaction capabilities, and thus the naturalness of the dialogue as a whole, are considered to be the dialogue control and the amount of information provided to the user. The User Model produces recommendations of the system’s appropriate reaction depending on the user’s observed competence level, monitored and computed on the basis of the user’s interaction with the system. The article also discusses methods for the evaluation of adaptive user models and presents results from the AthosMail evaluation.


User modelling Adaptation Evaluation Speech-based human computer interaction Mobile e-mail applications