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User Centered Development of Automatic E-mail Answering for the Public Sector

  • T. Cerratto-Pargman
  • O. Knutsson
  • E. Celikten
  • E. Sneiders
  • H. Dalianis
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7546)

Abstract

In Sweden, the use of e-mail by the public sector has become a key communication service between citizens and governmental authorities.  Although the integration of e-mail in the public sector has certainly brought citizens and handling officers closer, it has also introduced a particular vision on governmental authorities such as for instance the idea that public service and information should be available to citizens any time, anywhere. Such a belief among citizens puts certainly high demands on the quality and efficiency of the e-service governmental authorities are capable to provide. In fact, the growing number of citizens’ electronic requests must be  accurately answered in a limited time. In the research project IMAIL (Intelligent e-mail answering service for eGovernment) [1], we have focused on the work carried out at the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (SSIA) that exemplifies a governmental authority dealing with 500,000 emails per year on top of face-to face meetings, phone calls and chat communication. With the objective of creating an e-mail client capable to ease and ensure the quality of SSIAs’ handling officers public service, we have developed a prototype that: (1) automatically answer a large part of simple questions in the incoming e-mail flow, (2) improve the quality of the semi- automatic answers (i.e. answer templates), and finally, (3) reduce the workload for the handling officers. The development of the prototype is grounded in an empirical study conducted at the SSIA. The study comprises the analysis and clustering of 10,000 citizens e-mails and the working activity of 15 handling officers that were collected through questionnaires, interviews and workshops [2].

Keywords

eGovernment User-Centered Design ICT Email Analysis 

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References

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    Knutsson, O., Cerratto-Pargman, T., Dalianis, H., Rosell, M., Sneiders, E.: Increasing the efficiency and quality of e-mail communication in egovernment using language technology. In: Chappelet, J.-L., Glassey, O., Janssen, M., Macintosh, A., Scholl, J., Tambouris, E., Wimmer, M.A. (eds.) The Proceedings of Electronic Government and Electronic Participation - Joint Proceedings of Ongoing Research and Projects of IFIP EGOV and ePart 2010, August 29-September 2, pp. 45–52. Trauner Verlag, Lausanne (2010)Google Scholar
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    Dalianis, H., Sjöbergh, J., Sneiders, E.: Comparing Manual Text Patterns and Machine Learning for Classification of E-Mails for Automatic Answering by a Government Agency. In: Gelbukh, A. (ed.) CICLing 2011, Part II. LNCS, vol. 6609, pp. 234–243. Springer, Heidelberg (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Cerratto-Pargman
    • 1
  • O. Knutsson
    • 1
  • E. Celikten
    • 1
  • E. Sneiders
    • 1
  • H. Dalianis
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Computer and Systems Sciences (DSV)Stockholm UniversitySweden

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