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Preface > BOOK OBJECTIVE - Pg. xvii

xvii Preface This book provides a contribution on the theories, techniques, and methods on multimodality and mobile devices for pervasive services. It consists of 24 chapters that provide an in-depth investigation of new approaches, methods, and trends. Humans communicate using their five senses in a synergistic manner expressing key-concepts involving different modalities and/or two or more modalities simultaneously. Indeed, human-human communication involves, in a synergistic manner, several communication channels; it can use gesture, sketch drawing, handwriting, facial expressions, gaze, and speech or their combination. Multimodal interaction systems can combine visual, auditory, and other kinds of information in a flexible and powerful dialogue manner, enabling users to choose one or more interaction modalities. The use of multimodality combined with mobile devices allows a simple and intuitive communication approach everywhere and every time. The synergistic approach in using more than one modality to interact with computers--or more generally with other devices such as mobile devices­makes dialogue and communication flexible, natural, and robust also for its closeness with the human-human one. Effectiveness and naturalness of communication is particularly relevant for services. The great diffu- sion of mobile devices, along with the development of multimodal interaction, presents a new challenge for telecommunication companies and all organizations that can be involved in providing new services using mobile devices. One requirement for these services is that they and their information have to be accessible to every mobile situation. Even if in the last years several efforts have been carried out to provide computer and mobile devices interfaces with a similar flexibility, naturalness, and robustness, a lot of theoretical and technological problems need to be faced when designing and implementing very natural, flexible, and robust multi- modal human computer interaction approaches. Naturalness, flexibility, and robustness of interaction approaches are key elements to produce new and pervasive services for people. In developing multimodal pervasive services, it is essential to consider perceptual speech, audio, and video quality for the optimum communication system design, the effective transmission planning, and management respect to the customer requirements. BOOK OBJECTIVE The book aim is to provide theoretical and practical scenarios, concepts, methodologies, standards, defi- nitions, and applications used to design and develop multimodal systems, focusing on mobile devices and pervasive services. It gives an overview of the existing works in this sector, discussing the different strategies adopted for the fusion input process, optimization processes on mobile devices, ambiguity and error handling related to one or more modalities, the fission process, the personalization and adaptation