Accession Number : ADA019198

Title :   Studies in Interactive Communication: Limited Vocabulary Natural Language Dialogue.

Descriptive Note : Doctoral thesis,


Personal Author(s) : Kelly,Michael J.

Report Date : AUG 1975

Pagination or Media Count : 82

Abstract : The complexity and costs of interactive, natural-language computer systems could be reduced if the man-computer communication used only a limited subset of the English language. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that people, although accustomed to unrestricted use of the language, can efficiently interact using a carefully chosen subset of a few hundred words. Two-person teams communicated through a computer-controlled teletypewriter system to cooperatively solve real-world problems. They were permitted to use only words on predetermined lists of 300 words, of 500 words, or as a control conditions, with no vocabulary restrictions. The teams solved a different problem on each of three successive days. Dependent measures were taken on four classes of variables: (1) time to solve the problem, (2) several measures of overt behavior, (3) several measures of verbal output, and (4) measures of errors made by subjects using the two restricted vocabularies. There were numerous significant effects of the Problems, the Job roles of subjects within the team, and the Problem X Job Role interaction. However, the more interesting main effect of Vocabulary Size was significant for only three of the 21 dependent measures. Furthermore, only four of the 105 interactions involving Vocabulary Size were statistically significant. This study presents strong evidence of the adaptability of the human communicator. Although sometimes exhibiting frustration with the small vocabularies, the subjects were, nonetheless, able to solve their problems about as successfully as did their counterparts in the unlimited vocabulary condition.

Descriptors :   *Natural language, *Vocabulary, *Data processing terminals, *Teletypewriters, *Man computer interface, Man machine systems, Human factors engineering, Performance(Human), Interactions, Limitations, Words(Language), Analysis of variance, Efficiency, Measurement, Theses

Subject Categories : Linguistics
      Computer Hardware
      Human Factors Engineering & Man Machine System

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE