A High-Performance Dual-Wizard infrastructure for designing speech, pen, and multimodal interfaces

Phil Cohen, Colin Swindells, Sharon Oviatt, Alex Arthur

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The present paper reports on the design and performance of a novel dual-Wizard simulation infrastructure that has been used effectively to prototype next-generation adaptive and implicit multimodal interfaces for collaborative groupwork. This high-fidelity simulation infrastructure builds on past development of single-wizard simulation tools for multiparty multimodal interactions involving speech, pen, and visual input [1]. In the new infrastructure, a dual-wizard simulation environment was developed that supports (1) real-time tracking, analysis, and system adaptivity to a user's speech and pen paralinguistic signal features (e.g., speech amplitude, pen pressure), as well as the semantic content of their input. This simulation also supports (2) transparent user training to adapt their speech and pen signal features in a manner that enhances the reliability of system functioning, i.e., the design of mutually-adaptive interfaces. To accomplish these objectives, this new environment also is capable of handling (3) dynamic streaming digital pen input. We illustrate the performance of the simulation infrastructure during longitudinal empirical research in which a user-adaptive interface was designed for implicit system engagement based exclusively on users' speech amplitude and pen pressure [2]. While using this dual-wizard simulation method, the wizards responded successfully to over 3,000 user inputs with 95-98% accuracy and a joint wizard response time of less than 1.0 second during speech interactions and 1.65 seconds during pen interactions. Furthermore, the interactions they handled involved naturalistic multiparty meeting data in which high school students were engaged in peer tutoring, and all participants believed they were interacting with a fully functional system. This type of simulation capability enables a new level of flexibility and sophistication in multimodal interface design, including the development of implicit multimodal interfaces that place minimal cognitive load on users during mobile, educational, and other applications.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICMI'08
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 10th International Conference on Multimodal Interfaces
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9781605581989
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Multimodal Interfaces 2008 - Chania, Crete, Greece
Duration: 20 Oct 200822 Oct 2008
Conference number: 10th
https://dl.acm.org/doi/proceedings/10.1145/1452392 (Proceedings)

Publication series

NameICMI'08: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Multimodal Interfaces


ConferenceInternational Conference on Multimodal Interfaces 2008
Abbreviated titleICMI 2008
CityChania, Crete
Internet address


  • Collaborative meetings
  • Dual-wizard Protocol
  • High-fidelity simulation
  • Implicit system engagement
  • Multi-stream multimodal data
  • Pen pressure
  • Speech amplitude
  • Streaming digital pen and paper
  • Wizard-of-Oz

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