SATNAC 2009 Conference Papers

Network Services

Title:                HLTs in Second Language Learning – Can we Optimise TTS Technology to be a Better Teaching Tool?


Authors:            Lehlohonolo Mohasi (University of Cape Town), Mqhele Dlodlo (University of Cape Town)


Abstract:           This paper investigates the possibility of optimising text-to-speech (TTS) technology for a more efficient use in second language learning. We believe that a high quality TTS system first has to be developed before this technology can be optimally used in second language learning. In reviewing the different techniques and methods by different researchers in TTS technology with the aim of advancing TTS speech output, we also try our hand by directing our focus on improving prosody of a TTS system. Since language learning is best done through interaction, we propose an interactive TTS system through dialogue. Our attempt therefore, at improving prosody, will be done in relation to a dialogue system. Another proposal is the integration of linguistic distance measure with TTS. We believe this will be more applicable to the source and target languages of interest being studied. We finally discuss the different methods used for evaluating TTS systems in general, and evaluation of TTS performance in language learning. We show that people use different methods and metrics depending on what aspect or criterion they want to measure. An overall agreement has not been reached as yet to the technique or metric which gives a true assistive measure of the technology. We conclude with a remark that an interactive TTS system with prosody enhanced is one good step towards an optimal teaching tool.


Title:                Developing a Videomail Service for iLanga, an Asterisk Based IP PBX


Authors:            Zelalem Shibeshi (Rhodes University), Alfredo Terzoli (Rhodes University), Karen Bradshaw (Rhodes University)


Abstract            The requirement for receiving a message when a person is unable to answer his/her phone has existed since the introduction of telecom services. This has led to the development of voicemail systems. With the advent of VoIP, video communication, which was once thought to be a great challenge, has also become a reality. However, not all VoIP systems provide videomail service. The current stable version of Asterisk, an open-source IP PBX, does not natively include video recording and playback functionality (the main functions of a videomail service). As a result, an application was developed that can record and playback video messages in mp4 format. We extended this application to provide a full fledged videomail service for Asterisk. This paper discusses this extension and its integration in iLanga, the Asterisk-based IP PBX which is in use by Computer Science postgraduate students.


Title:                A Direct Marketing Platform for IMS-Based IPTV


Authors:            Phillippa Wilson (University of Cape Town), Neco Ventura (University of Cape Town)


Abstract:           The widespread adoption of the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) by operators faced many challenges. Currently, telcos all over the world are rolling out next generation networks (NGN). Moreover, a number of operators already have an IMS infrastructure in place. Deploying an IMS architecture requires heavy investments. Thus, telcos need means to recoup the investment costs within particular timeframes.  Direct marketing is a technique that enables product sellers to reach a specific target consumer group. This results in a higher turnover. The IMS provides a platform for personalised applications like IPTV. In this paper we explore the design of an IMS-based intelligent advertising system for direct marketing. The system utilises IPTV communications. We also explore implementation requirements for an advertisement application server. The implementation would be based on the UCT Advanced IPTV server, to be deployed in the UCT IMS testbed.

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