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Mobile Information Systems
Volume 4, Issue 3, Pages 165-181

EHeBby: An Evocative Humorist Chat-Bot

Giovanni Pilato,1 Agnese Augello,2 Giorgio Vassallo,2 and Salvatore Gaglio1,2

1ICAR-CNR Istituto di CAlcolo e Reti ad alte prestazioni, Italian National Research Council, Viale delle Scienze, Ed. 11, 90128 Palermo, Italy
2DINFO – Dipartimento di Ingegneria Informatica, University of Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, Ed. 6, 90128 Palermo, Italy

Received 20 November 2008; Accepted 20 November 2008

Copyright © 2008 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A conversational agent, capable to have a "sense of humor" is presented. The agent can both generate humorous sentences and recognize humoristic expressions introduced by the user during the dialogue. EHeBby is an entertainment oriented conversational agent implemented using the ALICE framework embedded into an Yahoo! Messenger client. It is characterized by two areas: a rational, rule-based area and an evocative area. The first one is based on well founded techniques of computational humor and a standard AIML KB. The second one is based on a conceptual space, automatically induced by a corpus of funny documents, where KB items and user sentences are mapped. This area emulates an associative/evocative behavior of the conversational agent, making her more attractive. EHeBby includes also an avatar that changes the face expression according to humoristic content of the dialogue.