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David Traum

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Research Professor of Computer Science


  • 1995, Doctoral Degree, Computer Science, University of Rochester
  • 1987, Master's Degree, Computer Science, San Jose State University
  • 1985, Bachelor's Degree, Applied Mathematics, Harvard University


Dr. David Traum (http://www.ict.usc.edu/~traum) is a Principal Scientist at ICT and a research assistant professor of Computer Science at the University of Southern California. He completed his Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Rochester in 1994. His research focuses on collaboration and dialogue communication between agents, including both human and artificial agents. Of primary interest is the interaction between the individual cognitive functioning and the social fabric, and the relationship between task-related and communicative actions.

He has engaged in theoretical, implementational, and empirical approaches to the problem, studying human-human natural language and multi-modal dialogue, as well as building a number of dialogue systems to communicate with human users. These systems have ranged in complexity from simple command and control and system-directed information-providing systems to full mixed-initiative collaborative planning and interaction, and have included both uni-modal (text or speech) and multimodal (gesture, sketching, pointing) systems. One major thrust of research includes the "grounding" problem -- how do communicators realize how well they are understanding each other, and what steps can and should they take to increase this mutual understanding (including giving positive and negative feedback, in a variety of modalities).

Dr. Traum is the author of over 200 technical articles, has served on many conference program committees, and is currently the president emeritus of SIGDIAL, the international special interest group in discourse and dialogue.

Research Summary

Dialogue Systems, Natural Language Processing, Computational Linguistics, Artificial Intelligence, Autonomy, Virtual Humans, Believable Agents, Multimodal Interaction, Formal and Behavioral Models of Culture-specific interaction.


  • 2011 Florida Artificial Intelligence Research Society FLAIRS-24 Conference Best Paper Nominee
  • 2011 Florida Artificial Intelligence Research Society FLAIRS-24 Conference Best Poster Award
  • 2011 Army 2nd place in the "Patterns of Life" category
  • 2007 I/ITSEC Best Paper nominee
  • 2006 Best Paper
  • Computer Science

  • ICT 4000
  • Institute For Creative Technologies
  • 12015 Waterfront Drive Los Angeles, CA 90094-2536
  • USC Mail Code: 0

Contact Information
  • (310) 574-5729
  • traum@ict.usc.edu


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