ESSENCE is a European Marie Curie Actions Project (FP7, ITN) that aims to improve robustness and resilience of natural language processing systems. In everyday life, humans exhibit strong skills in resolving communication problems by re-negotiating what they mean. Modern-day computational systems, however, are lacking in resilience and robustness in this respect. Whenever different components with different vocabularies and models of meaning interact within distributed, open environments, they have to rely on their human designers’ abilities to resolve problems of miscommunication.
The aim of the ESSENCE network is to translate these abilities of natural communicating systems to computational systems in order to improve their resilience and robustness, and by doing so to also make these systems more comprehensible to human users. To this end, we will bring together research on phenomena observed in human communication with research from areas that investigate heterogeneous computational communicating systems.