User Interface Design for Content-Based Audio Retrieval – Douglas W. Oard (University of Maryland)

March 23, 1999 all-day

It is becoming increasingly easy to acquire and maintain large audio collections, and audio search techniques that incorporate speech recognition technology are evolving rapidly. Less is known, however, about the strategies that users will adopt when searching large audio collections. Information retrieval is a synergistic process in which the user and the system seek to exploit each other’s strengths and cover each other’s weaknesses, and audio retrieval shifts this balance in several ways when compared with text retrieval. In this talk I will describe some important differences between retrieval of speech and written text and explore the design space in which a new balance might be found. I will then describe the VoiceGraph project at the University of Maryland in which we are using iterative prototyping to design audio retrieval interfaces. I’ll conclude with a few remarks on how what we learn in the VoiceGraph project might inform future work on component technologies such as speech recognition, speaker identification, and topic boundary detection.
Douglas Oard is an Assistant Professor in the College of Library and Information Services at the University of Maryland. His research interests center around the use of emerging technologies to support information seeking by end users, with present projects investigating audio retrieval, cross-language text retrieval, and the exchange of ratings by networked users. Additional information is available at

Center for Language and Speech Processing