home > publications > a31
A spoken dialog system for the Dutch public transport information service
Helmer Strik, Albert Russel, Henk van den Heuvel, Catia Cucchiarini & Lou Boves
A2RT, Dept. of Language & Speech, University of Nijmegen
P.O. Box 9103, 6500 HD Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Int. Journal of Speech Technology, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 121-131.


In the Netherlands there is a nationwide premium rate telephone number that can be dialed to obtain information about various forms of public transport. In 1996 this number was called more than twelve million times. Human operators managed to handle only about nine million of these calls. In order to make it possible to answer more of these calls, it was decided to use a spoken dialog system to try and automate part of this service. The part selected for automation concerns information about journeys between two train stations.

The starting point of our research was an existing German information system. This system was ported to Dutch. A bootstrapping method was used to collect the data, which in turn were used to improve the system itself.

Last updated on 22-05-2004