Disclosure: Please note that I am on the editorial advisory board for this book with regards to my pedagogical agent work)


Proposal Submission Deadline: December 16, 2009

Conversational Agents and Natural Language Interaction: Techniques and Effective


A book edited by Dr. Diana Perez-Marin and Dr. Ismael Pascual-Nieto Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain


Human-Computer Interaction can be understood as two potent information processors (a human and a computer) trying to communicate with each other using a highly restricted interface. Natural Language (NL) Interaction, that is, to let the users express in natural language could be the solution to improve the communication between human and computers. Conversational agents exploit NL technologies to engage users in text-based informationseeking and task-oriented dialogs for a broad range of applications such as e-commerce, help desk, Web site navigation, personalized service, and education.

The benefits of agent expressiveness have been highlighted both for verbal expressiveness and for non-verbal expressiveness. On the other hand, there are also studies indicating that when using conversational agents mixed results can appear. These studies reveal the need to review the research in a field with a promising future and a great impact in the area of Human-Computer Interaction.

Objective of the Book

The main objective of the book is to identify the most effective practices when using conversational agents for different applications. Some secondary objectives to fulfill the main goal are:

– To gather a comprehensive number of experiences in which conversational agents have been used for different applications

– To review the current techniques which are being used to design conversational agents

– To encourage authors to publish not only successful results, but also unsuccessful results and a discussion of the reasons that may have caused them

Target Audience

The proposed book is intended to serve as a reference guide for researchers who want to start their research in the promising field of conversational agents. It will not be necessary that readers have previous knowledge on the topic.

Recommended topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Fundamental concepts

Definition and taxonomy of conversational agents

– Motivation, benefits, and issues of their use

– Underlying psychological and social theories

2. Design of conversational agents


– Frameworks

– Methods

3. Practices

Experiences of use of conversational agents in:

– E-commerce

– Help desk

– Website navigation

– Personalized service

– Training or education

– Results achieved

– Discussion of the reasons of their success of failure

4. Future trends

Issues that should be solved in the future

– Expectations for the future

Submission Procedure

Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before December 16, 2009, a 2-3 page chapter proposal clearly explaining the mission and concerns of his or her proposed chapter. Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by January 16, 2010 about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines. Full chapters (8,000–10,000 words) are expected to be submitted by April 16, 2010. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Contributors may also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project.


This book is scheduled to be published by IGI Global (formerly Idea Group Inc.), publisher of the “Information Science Reference” (formerly Idea Group Reference), “Medical Information Science Reference,” “Business Science Reference,” and “Engineering Science Reference” imprints. For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit www.igi-global.com. This publication is anticipated to be released in 2011.

Important Dates

December 16, 2009: Proposal Submission Deadline
January 16, 2010: Notification of Acceptance
April 16, 2010: Full Chapter Submission
June 30, 2010: Review Results Returned
July 30, 2010: Final Chapter Submission
September 30, 2010: Final Deadline

Editorial Advisory Board Members
Galia Angelova, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Bulgaria
Rafael Calvo, University of Sydney, Australia
Dan Cristea, A.I. Cuza University of Iasi, Romania
Miguel Gea, University of Granada, Spain
Diane Inkpen, University of Ottawa, Canada
Pamela Jordan, University of Pittsburgh, USA
Ramón López Cózar, University of Granada, Spain
Max Louwerse, University of Memphis, USA
José Antonio Macías, University Autónoma de Madrid, Spain
Mick O’Donnell, University Autónoma de Madrid, Spain
María Ruíz, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Olga Santos, University Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Spain
George Veletsianos, University of Manchester, UK

Inquiries and submissions

Please send all inquiries and submissions (preferably through e-mail) to:

Diana Perez-Marin, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Spain

Email: diana.perez@urjc.es


Ismael Pascual Nieto, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain

Email: ismael.pascual@uam.es