Hannes Pirker

[Education] [Activities] [Projects] [Research Interests] [Publications]

I am ...

... a Computational linguist
... a former member of both the Language Technology- and the Interactive Technologies Groups at the Austrian Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence (OFAI).



...finished school ("Technische Bundeslehranstalt" - sort of technical highschool in the field of mechanical engineering)

1988 - 1990     

studying linguistics, computer science, psychology and media communication at Klagenfurt University, Austria.

1990 - 1994     

studying computational linguistics, computer science and psychology at the University of Saarbrücken, Germany.


MA diploma in linguistics from Klagenfurt University.

2011 - 2012     

studying European Ethnology at the University of Vienna



after school worked as a computer salesman for a few month.

1984 - 1988     

software developer on mainframe environment in the banking domain.

1991 - 1994     

student assistant at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), Saarbrücken, Germany.

1994 - 2012     

researcher at OFAI's Language Technology as well as OFAI's Interactive Technologies Group


From 1994 to 2012 I had been working in the following projects:
       Natural Language Generation for Acoustic Output (1994-95) laid the foundations for a system for the concept-to-speech system VieCtoS that combines natural language generation with speech synthesis. The project focussed on architectural issues, especially on laying the foundations for a representation that combines syntactic and semantic structures allowing for the derivation of prosodic features relevant for better intonation.
       VieCtoS (Vienna Concept-to-Speech System) (1996-98) is a Concept-to-Speech system focussing on how to produce correct prosody and intonation. The area of application is the automatic production of weather forecasts from formatted data.
       SpeeDurCont (1999-2001) This project deals with the investigation of segmental duration in Austrian German. From a theoretical point of view it aims for a better understanding of the factors that influence duration as well as their interaction. From a practical point of view the results are to be used in order to improve the prosodic quality of our synthesizer.
       NECA (A Net Environment for Embodied Emotional Conversational Agents) (2001-2004) The aim of this EU-IST project is the development of a novel platform for the implementation of avatars. The modelling of emotions and their expression via affective speech synthesis, mimic, and gesture are central tasks within this project.
       HUMAINE (2005-2007) This EU 6th Framework "Network of Excellence" aims to lay the foundations for the development of systems that can register, model and/or influence human emotional and emotion-related states and processes - 'emotion-oriented systems'.
       SEMPRE (Semantically Aware Profiling for Recommenders) (2008-2009) This project was concerned with the exploitation of information gathered from the Internet for recommender systems. My main concern within this project was the application of opinion mining in the movie domain. More explicitely I was employing GATE to perform an ontology-based markup of movie reviews with semantic information.
       INSPIRATION (2010) The purpose of this project -- performed within the Semantic Systems framework -- was to enhance the capabilities of speech-recognition systems by employing semantic technologies. My contribution was to study the applicability of auditive feedback in a dictation system, i.e., I explored the options for using Auditive User Interfaces (AUI).
Another strand of work was exploring the usability of semantic-web technologies and resources (tools and ontologies) for improving the automatic summarization of news texts.
       CyberEmotions (Collective Emotions in Cyberspace) (2009-2012) The project investigates the role of collective emotions in creating, forming and breaking-up of e-communities. In this fremework I was concerned with the task of detecting and classifying emotions in texts (postings in online discussions).
In conjunction with this work I also built-up and maintained a database of newsgroups postings.


Issues I have been working on:
       Morphology: I was especially concerned with finite-state-morphology.
In addition my MA-thesis dealt with issues of morphology in HPSG.
       Speech synthesis and more specifically Concept to Speech Synthesis: I mainly worked on the modelling of prosody, both in terms of intonation and duration
       I performed some "shallow research" in human factors and speech recognition, synthesis of affective speech, and Wizard-of-Oz simulations of Spoken Dialogue Systems.
       Embodied Conversational Agents ("avatars") and talking heads: focusing on the automatic generation of speech-accompanying gestures, facial expressions and postures.
       Opinion mining in reviews of movies and music albums.
       Semantic Web Technologies: Exploring the benefits of using semantic knowldege captured in existing ontologies (e.g. DBPedia, LOD) for applications such as opinion mining and text summarization.
       Emotion Classification in texts: In the context of the CyberEmotions project I was working on the task of classifying texts, typically user postings in online fora and newsgroups, for their positive or negative valence.
       Mark-Up and Representation Languages (XML): I have been participating in the design and specification of XML-based representation formats, e.g. as invited expert in the W3C incubator group for designing an Emotion Markup Language or partaking at the design of the Behaviour Markup Language (BML).


List of publications (with links to online-versions)
List of publications (same, formatted as bibitems)


Introductory course on Speech Synthesis at the European Summerschool on Logic Language and Information, Vienna, August 2003. See links to literature and resources
Introductory talk on Intonation Modelling (Fujisaki and more) at a seminar at the Technical University Graz, November 2004.
Teaching the course on speech synthesis and speech recognition at Klagenfurt University.


t r y:
h p r e k i g m x . a t

Impressum: Medieninhaber / für den Inhalt verantwortlich: Hannes Pirker, Wien
last modified: 30-Jan-2013