Workshop on W3C's Multimodal Architecture and Interfaces

16-17 November 2007

Hosted by W3C/Keio, in Fujisawa, Japan


The W3C Multimodal Interaction Working Group seeks to extend the Web to allow users to dynamically select the most appropriate modes of interaction for their current needs, including (a) needs of the specific users (e.g., users with disabilities) (b) across interactions (e.g., use keyboard instead of speech in a noisy environment) and (c) within interactions (e.g., speak a command and point to select the object of the command). Multimodal modes of input are especially important for hand-held portable devices with small displays and small or nonexistent keypads.

The Multimodal Architecture and Interfaces (MMI Architecture) specification is designed to provide a general and flexible framework providing interoperability among modality-specific components from different vendors - for example, speech recognition from one vendor and handwriting recognition from another. This framework places very few restrictions on the individual components or on their interactions with each other, but instead focuses on providing a general means for allowing them to communicate with each other, plus basic infrastructure for application control and platform services.

The approach allows simple multimodal capabilities to be added to existing markup languages in a way that is backwards compatible with widely deployed mobile devices, and which builds upon widespread familiarity with existing Web technologies. The standards should be scalable to enable richer capabilities on subsequent generations of multimodal devices. This involves the separation of the user interface from the application, to enable different user interfaces according to the user's preferences and the capabilities available to the devices.

In order to make the MMI Architecture more useful in current and emerging markets, the Multimodal Interaction Working Group is interested in suggestions on how to improve the use of the architecture to support and integrate various user interfaces on multimodal devices e.g. speech, GUI and Ink.

Workshop Goals

Identify and prioritize requirements for changes, extensions and additions to the MMI Architecture to better support speech, GUI, Ink and other Modality Components.

Attendees SHOULD be familiar with the MMI Architecture . The main focus of the workshop is requirements for the interfaces between the Runtime Framework and various Modality Components (e.g., voice, pen, ink, etc.) within the MMI Architecture. Specifically, we ask the participants (browser vendors, device vendors, application vendors, etc.) to clarify:


The workshop will produce a document identifying and prioritizing requirements for extensions and additions to the MMI Architecture that will improve the use of the architecture to better support speech, GUI and Ink interfaces on multimodal devices. The W3C Multimodal Interaction Group will use this document as a guideline for future enhancements to the MMI Architecture.

Scope of the Workshop

The scope of this workshop is restricted in order to make the best use of participants' time. In general, discussion at the workshop and in the position papers should stay focused on the workshop goal: identify and prioritize requirements for extensions and additions to the MMI Architecture that will improve the use of the MMI Architecture to better support speech, GUI and Ink interfaces on multimodal devices. Descriptions of new requirements with usage scenarios and clear explanations of the problems to be solved is of top priority for the workshop, while examples of the MMI Architecture syntax extensions is secondary priority.

Expected Audience

We expect several communities to contribute to the workshop:

Requirements for Participation

Position papers are required to participate in this workshop. Each organization or individual wishing to participate must submit a position paper by the date shown below. Participation is pending acceptance of the position paper by the program committee.


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

Position Papers

Position papers will be the basis for the discussion at the workshop. Papers should explain the participant's interest in the workshop, explain their position and include concrete examples of their suggestions. Position papers must be written in English. Examples in non-English languages are acceptable, but English explanation must be added.

All papers should be 1 to 5 pages, although they may link to longer versions or appendixes. Allowed formats are (valid) HTML/XHTML, PDF, or plain text. Papers in any other formats (including invalid HTML/XHTML) will be returned with a request for correct formatting.

Papers must be submitted by email to member-mmiws-submit@w3.org before 5 October 2007.

Accepted position papers will be published on the public Web page of the workshop. Submitting a position paper comprises a default recognition of these terms for publication.

The Program Committee may ask the authors of particularly salient position papers to explicitly present their position at the workshop to foster discussion. Presenters will be asked to make the slides of the presentation available on the workshop home page in HTML, PDF, or plain text.

See the schedule below for submission and registration deadlines.

Workshop languages

Position papers must be submitted in English.

The minutes from the workshop must be also recorded in English. However, the discussion at the workshop can be held in local languages e.g. Japanese, with occasional English discussions for questions and answers from the other participants who do not speak the languages.

Workshop Organization

Workshop Chairs

Deborah Dahl, Chair of the W3C Multimodal Interaction Working Group (W3C Invited Expert), <dahl@conversational-technologies.com>
Kazuyuki Ashimura, Multimodal Interaction Activity Lead (W3C), <ashimura@w3.org>

Program Committee

The current program committee consists of:


To ensure maximum interaction among participants, the number of participants will be limited. To ensure maximum diversity, the number of participants per organization will be limited in the event the overall participation limit is reached.

W3C membership is not required to participate in this workshop.

Workshop sessions and documents will be in English.


The workshop program will run from 8:30 am to 6 pm on both days.


The workshop will be held at Keio University in Fujisawa, Japan .

Information about hotels will be distributed with acceptance letters.


Information on registration will be send with the notification of acceptance.

Important Dates

Date Event
October 5, 2007 Deadline for position papers. Submit position papers to member-mmiws-submit@w3.org.
October 20, 2007 Acceptance notification and registration instructions sent. Program and accepted position papers posted on the workshop website.
November 3, 2007 Deadline for registration.
November 16, 2007 Workshop Begins (8:30 AM)
November 17, 2007 Workshop Ends (6:00 PM)
November 24, 2007 Conference minutes and conference deliverables posted on the workshop website.

This W3C Workshop is taking place right after the Ninth International Conference on Multimodal Interfaces (ICMI2007) in Nagoya, Japan.

The Logistics, the Presentation Guideline and the Agenda are also available on the W3C Web server.

Deborah Dahl and Kazuyuki Ashimura, Workshop Co-chairs

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