An Assessment of Reliability of Dialogue Annotation Instructions
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA MARINA DEL REY INFORMATION SCIENCES INST
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This report is part of an ongoing research effort on man-machine communication, which is engaged in transforming knowledge of how human communication works into improvements in man-machine communication of existing and planned computer systems. This research has developed some methods for finding certain kinds of recurring features in transcripts of human communication. These methods involve having a trained person, called an Observer, annotate the transcript in a prescribed way. One of the issues in evaluating this methodology is the potential reliability of the Observers work. This report describes a test of Observer reliability. It was necessary to design a special kind of test, including some novel scoring methods. The test was performed using the developers of the instructions as Observers. The test showed that very high Observer reliability could be achieved. This indicates that the observation methods are capable of deriving information which reflects widely shared perceptions about communication, and which is therefore the right kind of data for developing human communication theory. It is a confirmation of the appropriateness and potential effectiveness of using this kind of observations in the dialogue-modeling methodology of which they are a part. It is also of particular interest as an approach to study of human communication based on text, since content-related text-annotation methods have a reputation of low reliability.
- Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems