CAML – A Universal Configuration Language for Dialogue Systems

  • Gergely Kovásznai
  • Constantine Kotropoulos
  • Ioannis Pitas
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2736)


In this paper, a novel architecture of a universal dialogue system and its configuration language, so-called Conversational Agent Markup Language (CAML), is proposed. The dialogue system embodies a CLIPS engine in order to enable CAML to formulate procedural and heuristic knowledge. CAML supports frames, functions, and categories that enable it: (a) to process wildcards, to control the inner state through variables, and to formulate procedural knowledge in contrast to Phoenix/CAT Dialog Manager; (b) to support nested macros, to control the inner state through variables, to assign priorities and weights to states, and to interface with external databases in contrast to Dialog Management Tool Language (DMTL); (c) to implement context-free grammars, to extract semantic content from user input through frames, to allow numeric variables, and to interface with external databases as opposed to Artificial Intelligence Markup Language (AIML). The proposed system is extensible in the sense that it can be embedded in any conversational system that receives and emits XML content. Such a dialogue system can be incorporated in multimodal interfaces, such as talking head applications, conversational web interfaces, conversational database interfaces, and conversational programming interfaces.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Suereth, R.: Developing Natural Language Interfaces. McGraw-Hill, New York (1997)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ole Bernsen, N., Dybkjær, H., Dybkjær, L.: Designing Interactive Speech Systems. Springer, London (1998)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Huang, X., Acero, A., Hon, H.-W.: Spoken Language Processing. Prentice Hall PTR, Upper Saddle River (2001)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gorin, A.L., Abella, A., Alonso, T., Riccardi, G., Wright, J.H.: Automated Natural Spoken Dialog. IEEE Computer 35(4), 51–56 (2002)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Marriott, A.: VHML – Virtual Human Markup Language. In: Proc. OzCHI 2001 Workshop (2001)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ward, W.: Understanding Spontaneous Speech: the Phoenix System. In: Proc. ICASSP 1991, pp. 365–367 (1991)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Pellom, B., Ward, W., Pradhan, S.: The CU Communicator: An Architecture for Dialogue Systems. In: Proc. ICSLP, Beijing, China (November 2000)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Gustavsson, C., Strindlund, L., Wiknertz, E.: Dialogue Management Tool. In: Proc. OzCHI 2001 Workshop (2001)Google Scholar
  9. 9.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gergely Kovásznai
    • 1
    • 2
  • Constantine Kotropoulos
    • 1
  • Ioannis Pitas
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of InformaticsAristotle Univ. of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece
  2. 2.On leave from the Institute of Mathematics and InformaticsUniv. of DebrecenDebrecenHungary

Personalised recommendations