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Dynamic Fields Definition in Voice Enabled Directory Assistance Systems

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000021604D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Jan-27
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Jan-27
Document File: 3 page(s) / 19K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is a method to define in a configuration file the fields that describe a person in a directory database. The fields definition will be used during the directory import procedure, grammars generation and call flow application. It is easy to add new fields using this method.

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Dynamic Fields Definition in Voice Enabled Directory Assistance Systems

In a Directory Assistance application, for example, there are a set of basic fields that can be defined in advance, based on past experience of kind of information requested in this type of system. Depending on the customer, however, different fields may need to be added and this would typically imply code changes. This report describes a way to define the fields dynamically so new fields can be added to the system without changing the code.

Assume there is a set of special fields that are always defined. Using a name directory as an example, the system will recognize the requested person by first name and last name. In this case, the fields <gn> (given name), <sn> (last name) and <tn> (default telephone number) are defined as special and mandatory fields. When the caller says the person's name, the system retrieves the record information and reads back the default telephone number. If additional fields are defined, the system will allow the caller to ask for them. The fields are defined in a XML file. For each field, the following attributes are defined:

Attribute Name Definition

<name> Field name. A label to refer to this field inside the code <audio> The audio file to be played when this field is announced in a prompt <tts> The text to be used by TTS, if this field is announced in a prompt <dialable> Yes/No. If yes, this field is a telephone number that can be dialed to <mandatory> Yes/No. Indicates if this field is mandatory.
<spell> Indicates the word (s) associated to this field
<outro> Yes/No. Indicates if this field is part of the "outro" definition in the call flow <contactInfo> Yes/No. Indicates if this field can be retrieved in directory assistance mode

The following example illustrates definition of a mobile phone field.

<field>

<name>mobile <audio>mobile.wav <tts>"mobile number" <dialable>yes <mandatory>no <spell>mobile <spell>cell phone <spell>cell <outro>yes
<contactInfo>yes


</field>

Then, for each person in the directory, an entry is defined in the import file as follows (note additional email info, derivable from an email field):

<person>

     <gn>Vanessa <sn>Michelini <tn>561-862-2159 <mobile>954-123-4567 <email>vm@us.ibm.com
</person>

The first 3 fields are the special fields <gn>, <sn> and <tn>. The other 2 fields are defined in the fields definition file. The field name (mobile, email) is used as a tag to refer to that field. Multiple grammars are dynamically generated for this application. The first one is the names grammar:

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<<start>> = <name> <outro>?

The <name> rule is generated from <gn> and <sn> fields. In this design, the directory information is stored in the grammar file, as the annotation. So, as soon as a name is recognized, the information of that person is also retrieved. All the fields are appended, as follows (note addition of info for Brent Davis):

<name> =

Vanessa Michelini: {tn=5618622159;mobile=9541234567;email=vm@u...