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Plan-based Integration of Natural Language and Graphics Generation

Wolfgang Wahlster; Elisabeth Andre; Wolfgang Finkler; Hans-Jürgen Profitlich; Thomas Rist
DFKI, DFKI Research Reports (RR), Vol. 93-02, 1993.


Multimodal interfaces combining natural language and graphics take advantage of both the individual strength of each communication mode and the fact that several modes can be employed in parallel. The central claim of this paper is that the generation of a multimodal presentation can be considered as an incremental planning process that aims to achieve a given communicative goal. We describe the multimodal presentation system WIP which allows the generation of alternate presentations of the same content taking into account various contextual factors. We discuss how the plan-based approach to presentation design can be exploited so that graphics generation influences the production of text and vice versa. We show that well-known concepts from the area of natural language processing like speech acts, anaphora, and rhetorical relations take on an extended meaning in the context of multimodal communication. Finally, we discuss two detailed examples illustrating and reinforcing our theoretical claims.