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Efficient user-centred access to multimedia meeting content. Simon Tucker and Steve Whittaker University of Sheffield {s.tucker, s.whittaker}@shef.ac.uk. AMI Project. Meetings are a critical way in which knowledge is created and shared within organisations

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efficient user centred access to multimedia meeting content
Efficient user-centred access to multimedia meeting content

Simon Tucker and Steve Whittaker

University of Sheffield

{s.tucker, s.whittaker}@shef.ac.uk

ami project
AMI Project
  • Meetings are a critical way in which knowledge is created and shared within organisations
  • Most of this knowledge is never recorded
  • AMI provides Multimodal Access to Multimedia Records of Meetings
  • 16 Partners
  • Follow on project AMIDA – Real Time
sheffield ami work
Sheffield AMI Work
  • User Requirements
  • Temporal Compression of Speech
    • Reducing the amount of time required to listen to a meeting recording but still getting the important information.
  • Dynamic Visual Summarization Techniques
    • A number of methods for dynamically presenting summary information interactively.
  • Temporal Compression of Video
    • Audio motivated video compression.
meeting browsers
Meeting browsers
  • The primary means of accessing meeting records is via a browser.
  • In previous work we segregated browsers into four categories according to their focus.
  • The focus is either the primary means of presentation or navigation that the browser used.
  • This segregation allowed us to get a good idea of the current browser space.
browser examples
Browser Examples





user requirements
User Requirements
  • Can make use of two different methods to collect user requirements
    • Practice–centric
      • Examination of current practices.
      • Collection through observation.
    • Technology-centric
      • Exposure to new technology.
      • Collection through user opinion.
practice centric ami study
Practice-centric AMI study
  • Meetings already generate a large amount of information exchange.
    • Personal Notes.
    • Minutes.
    • Post-meeting email discussion.
    • Informal meeting discussions.
  • Approach taken is to record (where possible) and then analyse these records.
  • Use this analysis information to determine how meeting records are used and what are any problems associated with such records.
study details
Study details
  • We examined the meeting recording practices of two firms.
  • We studied a core team over a series of meetings.
    • Thus we can study the lifecycle of meeting documents.
  • Meetings in both firms were task oriented rather than being about the generation of ideas.
  • We collected permission to make recordings from each meeting participant
    • We also allowed participants to request that the recordings be switched off.
    • Names were removed from transcripts.
analysis of state of the art tools
Analysis of State of the Art Tools
  • Important to assess the state of the art.
  • Assessed the efficiency of the first generation AMI meeting browser in answering typical questions about a meeting.
    • Generated a number of questions about a single meeting.
    • Subjects asked to answer these questions using the meeting browser.
    • ‘Thinkaloud’ was encouraged and we examined the accuracy of the answers.
    • The questions were either about specific information (what was the total budget?) or were more general (what was Ed’s contribution to the meeting?).
tools analysis results
Tools Analysis Results
  • Inefficient for access
    • Too much low level detail
  • Assumption of large display
  • Users need abstraction / summarisation tools
efficient access to meeting data
Efficient Access to Meeting Data
  • There is a clear need for efficient access to meeting data.
    • Meetings contain a lot of irrelevant information (both in general and for specific participants).
    • Minutes and notes capture important information but lack contextual information.
    • State of the art tools lack abstraction – generally present the raw recordings, unfiltered.
  • We focus on lightweight components allowing for efficient access to meeting data.
temporal compression of speech
Temporal Compression of Speech
  • Intended for environments which necessitate speech only access.
    • e.g. Mobile phone, travelling in car etc.
  • Aim is to reduce the length of the recording but to retain the important content.
  • Two techniques for reducing the length:
    • Speed Up: Play the full clip back at a faster rate.
    • Excision: Remove sections of the recording.
speed up
Speed Up
  • Simplest approach is to directly alter the playback rate.
    • Has the side effect of altering the pitch of the speakers.
  • Use an overlap and add algorithm to speed up whilst keeping pitch constant.
    • Has the problem of not reflecting how speakers naturally increase their speech rate.
  • Use a variable playback rate to better match how human speakers alter their speech rate.
  • Simple approach is to remove non-informational parts of the recording e.g. silence.
    • Limited by the amount of silence.
  • Derive measures of word importance and only play back the important words; missing words are mentally replaced.
    • Far from “natural” speech.
  • Use larger parts of speech (utterances) and locate important utterances and play only those back.
experimental overview
Experimental Overview
  • Initial Exploratory Experiment
    • Gain an understanding of the space.
    • Informally assessed a large number of techniques.
    • Located promising directions for research.
  • Follow up detailed study
    • Examined a subset of the techniques explored.
    • Used a measure of gisting ability to assess success.
    • Examined short and long meeting clips.
    • Also examined effect of a user interface.
measuring gisting ability
Measuring Gisting Ability
  • A key facet of our techniques is that they support the discovery of gist rather than facts.
  • Therefore the metrics we have used previously do not adequately capture the proposed usage of these tools.
  • Key components of the performance metric:
    • Must be quick to assess and to score (experimenter and subject time)
    • Objective measure
measuring gisting ability 2
Measuring Gisting Ability (2)
  • Our solution was to use a hybrid gold standard scheme.
  • We measure the importance of utterances from the transcript and select a number of utterances from the full range of importance.
  • We then ask judges to rank these utterances in order of importance.
  • Subjects then listen to the meetings and perform the same ranking.
  • The objective score is then the difference between the gold standard and subject rankings
  • Removing unimportant utterances performed better than speed up.
    • Listeners understood the gist of a recording faster.
  • All techniques performed better than applying no compression.
  • With longer clips understanding was the same.
    • Speed up required more interface interactions than excision.
dynamic summarization
Dynamic Summarization
  • Using summary information to locate points of interest within a meeting transcript.
  • Traditional summaries can be customized but are largely presented statically.
  • Underpinned by two concepts:
    • User is able to dynamically alter the summarization level.
      • Alteration shown in real time.
    • Applying different presentation techniques.
development procedure
Development Procedure
  • Using the same process to evaluate as was used for the speech work.
  • An initial lightweight evaluation of a number of UI concepts intended to find promising directions of research.
  • A follow up study examining the techniques in more detail with a more rigorous evaluation protocol.
dynamic summary display
Dynamic Summary Display
  • Two unit levels examined:
    • Words
    • Utterances
  • Two presentation techniques:
    • Unit shading.
    • Unit excision.
  • Two hybrid techniques:
    • Combining the four techniques into one
    • An experimental fish-eye view
  • Word Excision
  • Word Shading
initial results
Initial results
  • Shading works well.
  • Operating at the word level is satisfactory.
  • Fish-eye was not liked.
  • The combinatorial approach did not really offer anything novel.
follow up study
Follow Up Study
  • Focus solely on the Word Excision and Word Shading techniques (highest rated in the previous experiment).
  • Two questions (one specific, one general) about a number of meetings.
  • Use the two interfaces (plus a control plain text transcript) to answer the questions (one question per meeting).
  • Measure the time taken to answer, the accuracy and the amount of interface actions used when answering the questions.
  • Collect subjective preference data and user comments about each of the techniques.
follow up study results
Follow Up Study Results
  • Subjects were largely accurate – there was no effect on interface type on the accuracy
  • No effect of interface type on time taken to answer – i.e. there was no efficiency loss as a result of using the dynamic interfaces.
preference and process results
Preference and Process Results
  • Subjects overwhelmingly preferred the Word Excision Condition.
    • Subjects scored the Word Excision and Plain Transcript conditions equally.
  • The Word Shading condition required less interface actions than the Word Excision condition.
    • Specifically users spent more time changing compression levels in the Word Excision condition.
video compression
Video Compression
  • The same techniques for audio can also be applied to video.
  • Compress the audio recording and use this compressed version to derive an audio-video recording.
  • Informal evaluation indicates a different modality for video.
video examples
Video Examples
  • Type of video being used
  • Word excised video
    • The cuts are now much more disconcerting.
  • Sped Up video
    • More comfortable to watch but disconcerting at high compression levels.
  • Can also do non-linear compressed video
    • Speed up only the non-silent parts.
    • Can also e.g. speed up through unimportant parts
  • Looking at Interfaces for Browsing Meeting Recordings
    • Problems with abstraction in current meeting recording technology and automatic browsing systems
  • Temporal Compression of Speech
    • Reducing the time required to listen to a speech recording but keeping the important information.
      • Utterance Excision.
  • Dynamic presentation of meeting transcripts
    • Real time selection of summary level.
      • Word Shading.
  • Temporal Compression of Video
    • Applying the above to video recordings.
      • Speed up more effective.