Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Picone, Joseph

Committee Member

Baca, Julie

Committee Member

Lazarou, Georgios

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Electrical Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Early human language technology systems were designed in a monolithic fashion. As these systems became more complex, this design became untenable. In its place, the concept of distributed processing evolved wherein the monolithic structure was decomposed into a number of functional components that could interact through a common protocol. This distributed framework was readily accepted by the research community and has been the cornerstone for the advancement in cutting edge human language technology prototype systems.The Defense Advanced Research Program Agency (DARPA) Communicator program has been highly successful in implementing this approach. The program has fueled the design and development of impressive human language technology applications. Its distributed framework has offered numerous benefits to the research community, including reduced prototype development time, sharing of components across sites, and provision of a standard evaluation platform. It has also enabled development of client-server applications with complex inter-process communication between modules. However, this latter feature, though beneficial, introduces complexities which reduce overall system robustness to failure. In addition, the ability to handle multiple users and multiple applications from a common interface is not innately supported. This thesis describes the enhancements to the original Communicator architecture that address robustness issues and provide a multiple multi-user application environment by enabling automated server startup, error detection and correction. Extensive experimentation and analysis were performed to measure improvements in robustness due to the enhancements to the DARPA architecture. A 7.2% improvement in robustness was achieved on the address querying task, which is the most complex task in the human language technology system.