Rapid Deployment of Multimodal Speech Applications with the StarRec Dialog Development System
ULM, GERMANY - The StarRec Dialog Development System (DDS) is a development kit for the implementation and testing of speech dialog applications for each type of run-time platform. The DDS software kit includes compilers for recognition grammars and Temic´s XML-based dialog description language. Compiled application data can be loaded into a graphical user interface (GUI) which allows interactive testing and debugging in a cross-platform development environment. Applications developed with the DDS kit can directly be deployed in the various target systems offered by TEMIC SDS. This migration to target platforms is achieved through the modular software architecture: the main DDS program uses TCP/IP-based inter-process communication for the exchange of messages and data between the single components (speech recognition, speech output, dialog management). These components are implemented in a hardware- and OS-independent manner and can thus be ported to any type of platform. This allows the setup of distributed development environments: in an early project phase, dialog development may start in a PC environment. Later, if the speech components were ported to the target platform, the DDS project may substitute the PC versions with the target implementations, and the GUI program on the PC side serves as a tracing monitor for target tests. Thus, applications developed within the DDS environment on a PC can be deployed and tested in the target system. Furthermore, the modular architecture allows an extension of the DDS program with arbitrary application-specific programs. Such additional programs may, for example, implement PC simulations of the application. In combination with such external simulation programs, the DDS kit provides a flexible dialog development environment which allows realistic testing of speech applications in simulation environments. As an example, we show a demonstration program of a multimodal car application. It allows to control the tuner, CD player and the navigation system either with haptic or speech input. The simulation program for the haptic interface is connected to the DDS through its standard TCP/IP-based message interface. This integrated multimodal development and simulation tool allows us to carry out realistic application tests long before target hardware may be available in a project. Furthermore, the tool can be used for early usability tests verifying the interface design. The StarRec Dialog Development System is used by Temic´s dialog developers to ensure a rapid application development and deployment for our customers. Temic SDS GmbH, Ulm (Germany) and Farmington Hills (Michigan), develops and markets solutions for the natural communication between human beings and machines in the automotive, tele-communications and mobile industries. The speech processing products made by Temic SDS enable the user to control devices in an automobile, server-based applications and mobile end devices by voice. Due to thirty years of research activities, Temic SDS today possesses - apart from the speech recognition itself - an outstanding knowledge in the fields of acoustics (e.g. echo compensation and noise suppression), design of speech-controlled applications (dialog design) and integration.