David Traum

David Traum's Headshot
Computer Science

Director for Natural Language Research
Institute for Creative Technologies

Research Professor
USC Viterbi School of Engineering Computer Science Department

David Traum is a principal scientist at ICT and a research faculty member at the Department of Computer Science at USC. At ICT, Traum leads the Natural Language Dialogue Group, which consists of seven Ph.D.s, four students, and four other researchers. The group engages in research in all aspects of natural language dialogue, including dialogue management, spoken and natural language understanding and generation and dialogue evaluation. In addition, the group collaborates with others at ICT and elsewhere on integrated virtual humans, and transitioning natural language dialogue capability for use in training and other interactive applications.

Traum’s research focuses on dialogue communication between human and artificial agents. 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. He has pioneered several research thrusts in computational dialogue modeling, including computational models of grounding (how common ground is established through conversation), the information state approach to dialogue, multiparty dialogue, and non-cooperative dialogue.

Traum is author of over 200 technical articles, is a founding editor of the Journal Dialogue and Discourse, has chaired and served on many conference program committees, and is currently the president emeritus of SIGDIAL, the international special interest group in discourse and dialogue. He earned his Ph.D. in computer science at University of Rochester in 1994.