Université Paul Sabatier - Toulouse III - France Risø National Laboratory

Université Paul Sabatier Toulouse III
DESS (Postgraduate Diploma) in
artificial Intelligence, pattern Recognition, Robotics



Risø National Laboratory

from April 2003 to September 2003
Alexandre Alapetite


Training course directors:

Université Paul Sabatier Risø
7 Avenue du Colonel Roche
31077 Toulouse cedex 4
  Risø National Laboratory
Systems Analysis Department
Building SYS-110, P.O.Box 49
Frederiksborgvej 399
DK-4000 Roskilde
UPS access map   Risø SYS access map



This document describes my work during a traineeship in the systems analysis department of Risø, a Danish national laboratory.
My primary mission was to develop some programs that were aimed to demonstrate how pilots could use voice commands to control some devices in aircrafts. For that, I have had to study different voice engines solutions and grammar languages.
Since this primary project left me some free time, I have done a secondary and more personal project which consisted in studying Web pages accessibility standards, and providing a system that allows voice input commands in a Web browser.

You can have a look to the French translation of this abstrac and its Powerpoint presentation.



I wish to thank people without who this training course would not have been possible.
Since I have to choose an order for acknowledgements, I will do it temporally from the beginning to the end of this story.

It begins in the University Paul Sabatier of Toulouse, where I wish to thank my English teacher Suzan Becker who was the only one that helped me with administrative matters to do this traineeship abroad. Michel Courdesses has to be congratulated for the difficult planning of the end of the DESS just before the beginning of traineeships, and for the time he spends for everything to work, especially with administrative papers. I am thankful to Régine André-Obrecht for having accepted to be my training course director in France, helped by Jérôme Farinas.

Then I arrived in Denmark. People from the whole department of system analysis have been very friendly and helpful; that have made my arrival and these six months so nice: everything was made for me to feel well. I am very grateful to Hans Andersen for having accepted me for this traineeship, followed my work, kept me involved in the activity of the department − like meetings − and much more. Special thanks to Steen Weber, with whom I have worked for most of the things that have been produced during this traineeship: he always got time for me when needed, like for the writing of this report.


Table of contents





Risø is a Danish national laboratory.
It was founded in 1956 for "a peaceful utilisation of nuclear power". But in 1985 it was decided to stop research related to nuclear power.
Now, Risø has several centres, as different as "Human-Machine Interaction", "Plant-Microbe Basic Research", "Fusion Research", "Wind Energy", etc.

I have worked for the "Systems Analysis" Department, which research is orientated mainly on strategies in relation to long-term energy development, safety, reliability and decision-support in the industry.
This department, composed of a cross-disciplinary staff of about 70, is divided into four research programmes; I have been involved into the "Safety, Reliability and Human Factors" one, which aim is to develop methods to analyse the safety and reliability of complex technical systems and within which about 20 scientists, psychologists and information specialists co-operate.
So I was, in this department, one of the few IT specialists. That has made our work complementary and rich.

A lot is made in Risø in order to keep employees satisfied and motivated. This is based, for example, on interesting jobs, innovation, cooperation, international contacts but also social events, tolerance which are essential for integration: As a result, I have quickly felt good in Risø.
Since about 10% of employees do not speak Danish natively, Risø has permanent Danish courses. I have followed them for more than two months before summer holidays and again from September. Thanks to that, I am already able to have small private conversations; most of the professional conversations and documents being in English anyway.

Risø from a plane
Risø from the sky


My primary mission was to participate into the Safesound project, a European project on Safety improvement by means of sound, part of the Growth priority of the Cordis fifth framework programme (reference [G4RD-CT-2002-00640], May 2002 to December 2005).

The goal of the Safesound project is to study how an audio system (speech recognition and synthesis) could be integrated into plane cockpits and air traffic management systems for safety critical operations.
Different points are studied, like human factors in audio interaction, the physical installation in cockpits and its impact on procedures and finally the resulting safety benefits. Most of the necessary technologies (like voice recognition) already exist but they have to be adapted to safety critical domains in order to be used in plane cockpits.

Risø and different other companies are working together in an international consortium financed by the European Commission: EADS Airbus (FR), Thales avionics (FR), Eurocontrol (FR), Alitalia team (IT), AKG acoustics (AU), NLR Netherlands National Aerospace Laboratory (NL), TNO Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (NL).
Risø is responsible for studying human factors, like analysing crew tasks, developing and analysing prototypes that will reveal human-system performance in both normal and abnormal flight conditions.

I have been charged to design and build those prototypes, and helped in statistical analysis of human-system differences between normal and abnormal flight conditions.


Plane cockpit


Here is a snapshot of the simulation of an Airbus A320 cockpit that is used as a reference.
The large screen in the centre-left is the Navigation display that will be used later.

The simulation is an add-on running under Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002.


Speech tools

When I arrived, my department in Risø did not have much experience of voice recognition, and no voice recognition system.
An evaluation version of Nuance had been promised by TNO before I arrived, but we received it in June. So, in order to build some prototypes and not to loose time, I have had to find and test some speech tools, then to choose one from them.
My policy had been to first try systems I knew already, then systems for which a trial version was available on the Internet.


Microsoft Agent


Peedy, a Microsoft Agent
Microsoft® Agent is a software technology that supports interactive animated 3D characters that can respond to mouse, keyboard, voice input, and that are able to speak, move, display text.

This is based on ActiveX technology, so it is possible to use and program Microsoft Agent with several ways like



Some software has to be installed on the client side;
some of them can be downloaded automatically if they are not already installed on the computer, thanks to a <OBJECT> tag, but there are still needed components that have to be downloaded and installed once from the Microsoft webpage. The most important components are:

Control panel
In the control panel, there is a "Speech" icon with a microphone.
Speech properties
Once these components installed, you can see them in here.


Programming speech recognition with Microsoft Agent is fast and easy.
The system is based on context-free grammars.

msAgent.Commands.Add "Work", "Say your work", _
 "(say your work | who are you working for | what do you do)", True, True

This peace of code enable the agent to recognize the commands "say your work", "who are you working for" or "what do you do" and in both cases will return the token "Work" to the program.
Then the token can be intercepted and treated into the program:

Sub AgentControl_Command(byVal UserInput)
	Select Case UserInput.Name
		Case "Hello"
		Case "Work"
	End Select
End Sub

Sub SayWork
	msAgent.Play "Blink"
	msAgent.Speak "I work for Risoe!|I am a virtual employee of Risoe"
	msAgent.Play "RestPose"
End Sub

Here we can see that the agent will answer randomly "I work for Risoe!" or "I am a virtual employee of Risoe" when it recognizes a question about its work. "Blink" is just for some graphic animation; indeed, Microsoft Agent characters are able to do animations like shaking head, showing, walking, even express some basic feelings.

You can test it online here or from Microsoft's website



In my opinion, Microsoft Agent is a powerful tool to enhance human-computer interaction, thanks to its ability to use keyboard, mouse and voice inputs, and text, sounds, animations and voice outputs. The default Text-To-Speech provided by Microsoft is understandable, but far from the best systems available at this time. The default speech recognition engine (US English [en-US] only) is quite efficient, as far as the microphone is good enough. It is possible and could be a good idea to buy Text-To-Speech and/or speech recognition Sapi 4.0 compatibles from third party companies that can be used in place of the defaults ones.
As drawbacks, this system will not be a good choice if planning to use context-dependant grammars, or interact with speech recognition and speech synthesis at a lower level. Furthermore, when these words were written, Microsoft was moving its standards to Sapi 5.1 (providing mouth movement synchronization, etc.), with which Microsoft Agent is unfortunately not compatible, at least for now.




The Voice Extensible Markup Language is designed for creating audio dialogs that feature synthesized speech, digitized audio, recognition of spoken and DTMF (telephone) key input, recording of spoken input, telephony, and mixed initiative conversations. Its major goal is to bring the advantages of web-based development and content delivery to interactive voice response applications. (from W3C).

At this time, voiceXML is at version 2.0 (02/2003), but I have had the opportunity to test version 1.0 (05/2000) with the free IBM voice server SDK 3.1.



To program voiceXML pages and to launch the voice server, I have used a demo version of IBM WebSphere Studio Application Developer 5.0, and it's Voice Toolkit 4.1.
All these installation files are 1GB to download.



VoiceXML pages also have to respect XML 1.0 (10/1998, 10/2000) specifications.

Here is my first test, which allows the user to say several times a direction ("north", "south", "east", "west") that is analyzed by the recognition system, until the user says "stop".


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
<!DOCTYPE vxml PUBLIC "vxml" "">
<vxml version="1.0">
  <!-- Speed of recognition versus accuracy -->
  <property name="speedvsaccuracy" value="0.9"/>
  <!-- Level of confidence to accept a recognition -->
  <property name="confidencelevel" value="0.5"/>
  <!-- Disable barge in -->
  <property name="bargein" value="false"/>
  <!-- Time out after a possible recognition -->
  <property name="completetimeout" value="1000ms"/>
  <!-- Time out without any possible recognition -->
  <property name="incompletetimeout" value="2000ms"/>
  <!-- Constant messages -->
  <var name="helpmessage" expr="'Please say go north, go south, go east, go west or stop.'"/>
  <var name="exitmessage" expr="'The system will shut down now.'"/>
  <form id="intro"><!-- main rule -->
      Welcome to voice test
      <goto next="#testDirection1"/><!-- Call rule "testDirection1" -->
  <form id="testDirection1"><!-- rule "testDirection1" -->
    <field name="goDirection">
      <prompt>Where do you want to go?</prompt>
      <grammar><!-- Inline grammar -->
        go north  {north}
        | go south  {south}
        | go east  {east}
        | go west  {west}
        | stop [now]  {stop}
      <!-- If the user asks for help -->
      <help><value expr="helpmessage"/></help>
      <!-- 1st time the user says something no recognised -->
      <!-- 2nd time the user says something no recognised -->
      <nomatch count="2">
        <value expr="helpmessage"/><!-- read the constant message "helpmessage" -->
        <clear/><!-- clear variables and start the rule again -->
      <!-- 3rd time the user says something no recognised -->
      <nomatch count="3">
        I did not understand.
        <value expr="helpmessage"/>
      <!-- 4th time the user says something no recognised -->
      <nomatch count="4">
        Unfortunately, I still did not understand.
        <value expr="exitmessage"/>
      <!-- 1st time the user did not say anything -->
        I did not hear anything.
        <value expr="helpmessage"/>
      <!-- 2nd time the user did not say anything -->
      <noinput count="2">
        I did not hear anything.
        <value expr="exitmessage"/>
      <filled><!-- recognition -->
        <if cond="goDirection=='stop'">
          <value expr="exitmessage"/>
          I go to the <value expr="goDirection"/>.
        <clear/><!-- clear variables and start the rule again -->

This language allows context-free grammars programming. It allows barge in (the user can talk while the system is speaking), and timeout control.

We have made some tests with this system to measure the best time out that could be used at the end of a sentence to know that this sentence is over.



VoiceXML will certainly become the voice standard on the Internet and telephone voice servers. Developing a voice service is fast, easy and clean.
Moreover, VoiceXML can use Internet standard protocols and interact with other Internet programming languages like PHP, to become even more powerful. Indeed, VoiceXML pages can be dynamically generated, by PHP for example, to be adapted to the context, access databases, store client information, etc.

But IBM WebSphere, which we use to execute VoiceXML files, is very expensive and too heavy for small distributable programs, since it is more telephony orientated.


Microsoft Speech SDK 5.1


The Microsoft Speech SDK 5.1 is a development kit that can be used from several programming languages. It offers solutions for voice recognition (commands, dictation), voice synthesis, and other things like mouth animation, etc.

You can now use the Win32 Speech Api (Sapi) to develop speech applications with Visual Basic, ECMAScript and other Automation languages. The SDK also includes freely distributable text-to-speech (TTS) engines (in U.S. English and Simplified Chinese) and speech recognition (SR) engines (in U.S. English, Simplified Chinese, and Japanese). (from Microsoft Speech Technologies).

The Microsoft Speech SDK 5.1 is not the latest version. When these words were written, the latest was the Speech SDK 2.0 .NET, which is more orientated on .NET projects.



This SDK can be installed on Microsoft Windows 98, Me, NT4 6a, 2000, XP or later with Internet Explorer 5.5 or later. Then any compiler can be used but are specially recommended Microsoft Visual Studio 6.0 SP3+ or Microsoft Visual Studio .NET.

Control panel
In the control panel, there is a "Speech" icon with a man and a computer.
Speech properties
In this area, it is possible to train voice profiles, and choose a voice recognition engine.
The two next pictures come from buttons [Settings...] and [Train Profile...].
Voice profile settings
In this window, it is possible to set the sensitivity and the precision of the voice recognition engine, for one profile.
Voice profile training
That is how a voice profile can be trained.
The user just has to select a text then to read it aloud.


I am using the commands recognition part of the SDK.
Like for VoiceXML, a XML file is used. But unlike VoiceXML, this XML file is just for commands recognition, and the main part of the recognition program is done in another language. Unlike Microsoft Agent, it is possible to program the voice recognition engine more freely, it is not necessary to keep having an 3D agent character on the screen, and the user do not have to press any key to switch on the voice recognition.

Once the grammar loaded, the program receives events from the speech recognition engine, with lots of information that allows the production of the corresponding response.

Since the goal is to provide voice interaction to some existing Visual Basic project, I am using Visual Studio 6.0 SP5. This has been facilitated by the demos provided in the SDK.



Sapi 5.0 SR Command and Control grammar format is based on the XML framework but is not fully compliant with the W3C Speech Recognition Grammar Specification. Next versions of Sapi will be compliant with W3C.

Some description of the Sapi 5.0 grammar is provided with the SDK, and on Microsoft MSDN, but I will quickly describe anyway what I have used.

Grammars first have to specify the natural language they are working with, thanks to the langid attribute.
A grammar file can contain several RULE, which can be accessed from other rules with RULEREF or be active from the beginning thanks to TOPLEVEL="ACTIVE".
All the words or sentences to be recognized are stored in containers like PHRASE or LIST. In a PHRASE container, all the sub-elements are to be recognized sequentially, whereas in a LIST container, only one of the sub-elements will be matched. The OPT container makes its content to be optionally part of the grammar.
The PN and LN containers are respectively similar to PHRASE and LIST, except that they return the value specified in their VAL attribute, instead of the plain text.

SYMIPA UnicodeExamplePhoneID
-002Dsyllable boundary (hyphen)1
!0021Sentence terminator (exclamation mark)2
&0023,0020word boundary3
,002CSentence terminator (comma)4
.002ESentence terminator (period)5
?003FSentence terminator (question mark)6
_005FSilence (underscore)7
102C8Primary stress8
202CCSecondary stress9

This grammar is made to recognize real words, and cannot be used directly to recognize sounds or acronyms. Nevertheless, there is a possibility to do that with phonetics.
A PHRASE container, for example, can have a PRON attribute that specify how to pronounce what is inside this container, and which will be used by the speech engine instead of the plain text. For example, "h eh - l ow 1" phonetically codes for "Hello".
I have reproduced, here on the left, the American English phoneme representation since it is not easy to find, and the Web page does not seem to be maintained anymore.

A grammar example is provided bellow.



This Microsoft Sapi 5 development kit provides a fast and efficient solution for integrating voice technologies to a project.
This solution has been chosen for developing all the needed programs that were not based on Nuance.


Nuance 8.0


Nuance 8.0 is a professional voice recognition and synthesizes suite provided by the eponym Californian company.
A trial version of Nuance 8.0 has finally been received on the 10th of June 2003.
This will be the recognition system used for demos and other tests, in order to be coherent with other partners of the SafeSound project.



The nuance installation has to be done, just by running the setup.
Then it is a good choice to install the grammar builder.
Since Nuance is a client/server solution, the server has to be started before the client.

First of all, the Nuance License Manager has to be launched, with the license key as parameter.

C:\nuance\test1>nlm ntk8-800-a-x46-????????????
SN:        800
HostLock:  anyhost
Port:      8470
Checksum:  bfba85334e02
    1/ 1   server        800  899  1-jan-2038
    2/ 2   sp-chan       800  899  1-jan-2038
    2/ 2   v-chan        800  899  1-jan-2038
    1/ 1   tool          800  899  1-jan-2038

Nuance License Manager ready.

The second step is for the server. It is the one that makes the recording, the recognition and gives the client the results as text tokens.
It has to be called with the grammar to be used in parameter (-package [path of grammar folder]).

C:\nuance\test1>recserver -package fruit lm.Addresses=localhost
Nuance Recognition Server
All debug information is currently logged into ./logs/recserver_log_current

Finally the client can be launched, specifying also the grammar, and other configuration parameters.
Here is an example chosen from application 1.2, when the user says "Navigation display L S", with an output of the accessible information from the server.

C:\nuance\test>java -classpath "classes" nuancend.NuanceApplication -package nuance/ND
lm.Addresses=localhost audio.Provider=native client.NoSpeechTimeoutSecs=10 client.AllowBargeIn=FALSE
audio.InputVolume=255 audio.OutputVolume=255

---------- Recognition started ----------
Wait for input
 text="navigation display l s"
Wait for input


The development of a voice recognition application always starts by preparing the grammar. This can be done in Nuance with the help of the Grammar Builder environment. It provides some tools for editing and testing the grammar, like a library of existing grammars in several languages, and a generator of possible sentences.

The Nuance Grammar Builder main window.
Nuance Grammar Builder

After the grammar tested in text mode, it can be tested with a speech interface. Xapp is a small program that can work with any Nuance's grammar and will show what could have been understood, according to the grammar.

The Xapp application running with a test grammar about fruits
Xapp - Nuance Speech Recognizer


With its client/server architecture, Nuance provides a fast solution for building voice recognition applications. It has some good assets, like the possibility to access to the list of the n-best choices after recognition, which is a requirement for the SafeSound project.
Nevertheless, Nuance seems to be quite orientated on telephony projects, and it is a heavy solution to make small programs with an integrated voice recognition system that have to be distributed to several clients.



The aim of this demo is to demonstrate how a pilot could control the navigation display with voice. There are different display modes, which can be seen at different ranges.
I will just describe the theoretical speech part of this demo, which uses Microsoft Sapi 5.0.


The navigation display

The navigation display shows the pilot a blank map with his flight plan shown as a line between way points.
Five different display modes with six ranges can be shown. Additional information can be provided as well, like the TCAST collision avoidance system.

The navigation display, just been changed to the ROSE ILS mode, with a range of 40.
Navigation display, ROSE ILS 40


A Microsoft Sapi 5 grammar had to be defined for this application.
It can recognize commands to change the kind of display, which can be followed by the range of the display:
(navigation)? display (arc|plan|rose ils|rose nav|rose vor) ((range)? (10|20|40|80|160|320))?

It can also recognize commands to change just the range, keeping the same kind of display:
(navigation)? display range (10|20|40|80|160|320)


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1" standalone="yes"?>
<!-- SAPI 5.0 SR Command and Control grammar -->
<!-- xml:lang="en-US" -->
<!-- Risø spoken commands test -->
  <DEFINE><!-- Constants definitions for PROPID -->
    <ID NAME="ARC" VAL="1"/>
    <ID NAME="PLAN" VAL="2"/>
    <ID NAME="ROSE" VAL="3"/>
    <ID NAME="RANGE" VAL="9"/>
    <ID NAME="ILS" VAL="301"/>
    <ID NAME="NAV" VAL="302"/>
    <ID NAME="VOR" VAL="303"/>
    <ID NAME="NUMB" VAL="9"/>
  <RULE NAME="rulend" TOPLEVEL="ACTIVE"><!-- Main rule -->
      <OPT>navigation</OPT><!-- Optional introduction word -->
      <PHRASE>display</PHRASE><!-- Introduction word -->
      <LIST><!-- List of choices of commands -->
        <PHRASE PROPNAME="arc"><!-- ARC display -->
          <!-- Call rule "rulerange" -->
          <RULEREF PROPNAME="rulerange" PROPID="RANGE" NAME="rulerange"/>
        <PHRASE PROPNAME="plan"><!-- PLAN display -->
          <!-- Call rule "rulerange" -->
          <RULEREF PROPNAME="rulerange" PROPID="RANGE" NAME="rulerange"/>
          <PHRASE>rose</PHRASE><!-- ROSE display -->
          <!-- Call rule "rulerose" -->
          <RULEREF PROPNAME="rose" PROPID="ROSE" NAME="rulerose"/>
          <PHRASE>range</PHRASE><!-- Just change the range -->
          <!-- Call rule "rulenumb" -->
          <RULEREF PROPNAME="range" PROPID="RANGE" NAME="rulenumb"/>
  <RULE NAME="rulerose"><!-- Rule to recognise the different ROSE displays -->
    <LIST><!-- List of choices of displays -->
      <PHRASE PROPNAME="ils"><!-- ROSE ILS display -->
        <PHRASE PRON="ay eh l eh s">ILS</PHRASE><!-- ILS is explained phonetically -->
        <!-- Call rule "rulerange" -->
        <RULEREF PROPNAME="rulerange" PROPID="RANGE" NAME="rulerange"/>
      <PHRASE PROPNAME="nav"><!-- ROSE NAV display -->
        <!-- Call rule "rulerange" -->
        <RULEREF PROPNAME="rulerange" PROPID="RANGE" NAME="rulerange"/>
      <PHRASE PROPNAME="vor"><!-- ROSE VOR display -->
        <!-- Call rule "rulerange" -->
        <RULEREF PROPNAME="rulerange" PROPID="RANGE" NAME="rulerange"/>
  <RULE NAME="rulerange"><!-- Rule to recognise an optional range definition -->
    <OPT><!-- The whole rule is optional -->
      <OPT><!-- Optional introduction word -->
      <!-- Call rule "rulenumb" -->
      <RULEREF PROPNAME="range" PROPID="RANGE" NAME="rulenumb"/>
  <RULE NAME="rulenumb"><!-- Rule to recognise numbers for the range -->
      <PN VAL="10">ten</PN>
      <PN VAL="10">one zero</PN>
      <PN VAL="10">one oh</PN>
      <PN VAL="20">twenty</PN>
      <PN VAL="20">two zero</PN>
      <PN VAL="40">forty</PN>
      <PN VAL="40">four zero</PN>
      <PN VAL="80">eighty</PN>
      <PN VAL="80">eight zero</PN>
      <PN VAL="160">one six zero</PN>
      <PN VAL="320">three two zero</PN>


Voice recognition has been added to an existing demo, written in Visual Basic.
Here is a peace of the code, which intercepts the recognition events thrown by the voice engine. This occurs when a grammar rule has been correctly and completely recognized. (Lots of other events are thrown, for each step of the grammar, hypothesis, false recognitions, etc.)


Private Sub RC_Recognition(ByVal StreamNumber As Long, ByVal StreamPosition As Variant,
                           ByVal RecognitionType As SpeechLib.SpeechRecognitionType,
                           ByVal Result As SpeechLib.ISpeechRecoResult)
Dim RecoNode As Node
Dim Prop As ISpeechPhraseProperty
Dim Prop2 As ISpeechPhraseProperty

'Update Event List window
UpdateEventList StreamNumber, StreamPosition,
                "Recognition", " :" & Result.PhraseInfo.GetText()

Set Prop = Result.PhraseInfo.Properties(0)
If Not Prop Is Nothing Then
    If Prop.Name = "range" Then 'change just the range
        Set Prop = Prop.Children.Item(0)
        If Not Prop.Value = Empty Then
            RangeValue = Prop.Value
        End If
    Else 'change the display
        ModeName = Prop.Name
        If ModeName = "rose" Then 'special case for rose display
            If Not Prop.Children Is Nothing Then
                Set Prop2 = Prop.Children.Item(0)
                ModeName = ModeName & "_" & Prop2.Name
                Set Prop = Prop.Children.Item(1) 'change also the range
                If Not Prop Is Nothing Then
                    If Prop.Name = "rulerange" And Not Prop.Children Is Nothing Then
                        Set Prop = Prop.Children.Item(0)
                        If Prop.Name = "range" Then
                           Set Prop = Prop.Children.Item(0)
                           If Not Prop Is Nothing And Not Prop.Value = Empty Then
                               RangeValue = Prop.Value
                           End If
                        End If
                    End If
                End If
            End If
            Set Prop = Result.PhraseInfo.Properties(1)
            If Not Prop Is Nothing Then 'change also the range
                If Prop.Name = "rulerange" And Not Prop.Children Is Nothing Then
                    Set Prop = Prop.Children.Item(0)
                    If Prop.Name = "range" Then
                        Set Prop = Prop.Children.Item(0)
                        If Not Prop Is Nothing And Not Prop.Value = Empty Then
                            RangeValue = Prop.Value
                        End If
                    End If
                End If
            End If
        End If
    End If
End If
LabelPicture.Caption = BuildDisplayName(ModeName, RangeValue)
Picture1.Picture = LoadPicture(BuildDisplayPath(ModeName, RangeValue))
'Save the recognition Result to the global RecoResult
Set RecoResult = Result
End Sub

This demonstration was fully functional and could be used for some tests.


Application 1.2: Navigation display


This navigation display demo is the same as the one made with Sapi, except that it is made using Nuance 8.0 and written in Java. It is also providing extra functionalities.

The navigation display, just been changed to the ROSE ILS mode.
Navigation display, ROSE ILS


The Nuance grammar used in this demo was made by TNO (NL), a partner in this project.
I think this grammar was not restrictive enough to be used in a safety critical domain, and it was not made with interaction enough with real pilots.
It as been studied in order to build the program, and to provide a list of some possible sentences.
After a meeting, and thanks to this prototype that have been tested by pilots, it as been planed to modify this grammar according to these remarks.



Java has been used for this demo. The java libraries provided by nuance have been useful to connect to the server, to receive and parse its answers.

Here is a sample from this demo, which shows most of the needed code for building a simple Nuance client.

//Create a NuanceConfig object from the command-line arguments
NuanceConfig config = new NuanceConfig();
String[] extra_args = config.buildFromCommandLine(args);
//Create the SpeechChannel object
nsc = new NuanceSpeechChannel(config);

while (recognition)
  /* ... more code was here ... */
  if ((rec_result.getNumResults() > 0) &&
      (rec_result.getSingleResult(0).getNumInterpretations() > 0))
  { // Check the returned recognition result.
    // There is at least one result with one interpretation
    SingleResult sr = rec_result.getSingleResult(0);
    KVSet slots = sr.getInterpretation(0).getSlots();

    if (slots.keyExists(VIEW_MODE)) //returns a text token specifying the mode
    { //change the mode of the navigation display
      String mode_chosen = slots.getString(VIEW_MODE);
      if (mode_chosen.equals(VIEWMODE_ILS)) currentMode="ROSE_ILS";
      else if (mode_chosen.equals(VIEWMODE_VOR)) currentMode="ROSE_VOR";
      /* ... more code was here ... */
      else appendText("An unrecognised view mode was said");
    if (slots.keyExists(RANGE_SELECT)) //returns an integer token specifying the range
    { //change the range of the navigation display
      int range_chosen = slots.getInt(RANGE_SELECT);
      appendText("Range "+range_chosen);
      currentRange = range_chosen;
    /* ... more code was here ... */
  else //NO_SPEECH_TIMEOUT or similar
    appendText("Nothing intelligible was said");
if (nsc != null) nsc.close(); //Close the SpeechChannel

Application 2: Radio Mode Panel


The aim of this demo is to demonstrate how a pilot could control the Radio Mode Panel with voice.


The radio mode panel

The radio mode panel (RMP) controls the frequency of the three VHF and two HF radios in the cockpit. Basic operation is that the pilot changes the frequency of the standby display by turning a button and when he is satisfied he can activate this frequency by switching the active frequency with the standby one.
Each pilot has a RMP and a third one is located in the over-head panel. All the five radios can be remoted from any of the three panels.

The Radio Mode Panel demo.
Radio Mode Panel


The Nuance grammar used in this demo was also made by TNO.


Multi-modal Web browser

This is my secondary and more personal project, about Web pages accessibility standards, and a system that allows voice input commands in a Web browser.
You can read my separated report on this multi-modal Web browser project.



The two applications I have made were demonstrated at a meeting in Rome for Alitalia pilots. They have been useful to test some concepts and the grammars. Thanks to these demos, pilots have been involved into the project and give their opinion.

During these six months, I have had the opportunity to test and program several speech engines and I am now more able to chose a speech engine, according to the needs of any project. Furthermore, I have largely improved my knowledge about Internet standards and accessibility, and I am now more familiar with plug-in integration in Mozilla.
Last but not the least, I have been in touch with safety critical domains, and worked with cross-disciplinary scientists with cultures different from the French one; that gave new outlets to my competences.

This traineeship has been a good opportunity for me to discover another culture and that is almost as important as the scientific experience. I am now able to have small conversations in Danish, and I have even started to read small articles in newspapers.

I have been very pleased to do this traineeship in Risø and it was a wonderful experience. So it was with pleasure that I have accepted the PhD proposition.

Risø large view from the sky
Risø large view from a plane

About this document

The content of this document has been written conforming to XHTML 1.1 (05/2001), current best choice standard for Web pages, which allows a backward compatibility with old HTML browsers, having all the advantages of being valid XML 1.0 (02/1998), and is viewable on light systems like mobiles phones.

CSS2 (12/1998) style sheets are used for the presentation; that could allow different viewing on computer screen, projectors, handheld, printers, etc. or for impaired people.

The character set of this document is UTF-8 (1993), which is backward compatible with the 128 first basic ASCII characters (1963), whereas all the other Unicode characters can be also coded (on two or more bytes); it is the most widely used Unicode character set on the Web (since 1997), and the default one for XML (1996).

This page respects the conformance level A of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0, which promotes accessibility for people with disabilities and more generally to all users, whatever browser and constraints they may have. The aim is also to help people to find information on the Web more quickly and make multimedia content more accessible to a wide audience.

This document provides some metadata information according to "The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative" (1995), which is an organization dedicated to fostering the widespread adoption of interoperable metadata standards for describing resources to enable more intelligent resource discovery systems.

Other HTML META and LINK tags are used for standard navigation (top, search, toc, help, etc.) and other information (location, ...). More technical information can be found on my headers and META information in HTML documentation page.

The choice of these standards, recommended by the W3C, confers to this document one of the largest possible "viewability", prepared for the future. The backward compatibility is good, even with text browsers, but a nicer result, with more functionalities will be achieved with recent standard compliant browsers (Mozilla 1.4, Opera 7 are fine; Internet Explorer 6 is okay but do not provide standard navigation nor CSS2 conformance.).

This document is still under construction. The final version is aimed to match all these standards even better, especially about accessibility.

Valid XHTML 1.1!   Valid CSS 2!   Level A conformance icon, W3C-WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0   Dublin Core Used Here

You can also have a look to the "about page" of this Web site.