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Rigorous development of prompting dialogues

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Objectives: The aim was to support people with cognitive impairment through speech-based dialogues that guide them through everyday tasks such as activities of daily living. The research objectives were to simplify the design of prompting dialogues, to automate the checking of prompting dialoguesnext term for syntactic and semantic errors, and to automate the translation of dialogue designs into a form that allows their ready deployment. Approach: Prompting dialogues are described using cress (Communication Representation Employing Systematic Specification). This is a notation and toolset that allows the flow in a service (such as a dialogue) to be defined in an understandable and graphical way. A previous termdialogue diagram is automatically translated into a formal specification for rigorous verification and validation. Once confidence has been built in the dialogue design, the dialogue diagram is automatically translated into VoiceXML and deployed on a voice platform. Results: All key objectives of the work have been achieved. A variety of significant dialogues have been successfully represented using the cress notation. These dialogues have been automatically analysed through formal verification and validation in order to detect anomalies. Finally, the dialogues have been automatically realised on a VoiceXML platform and have been evaluated with volunteer users.

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