Conversational Turn-taking as a Stochastic Process on Networks

Lisa O'Bryan, Santiago Segarra, Jensine Paoletti, Stephanie Zajac, Margaret E. Beier, Ashutosh Sabharwal, Matthew Wettergreen, Eduardo Salas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Understanding why certain individuals work well (or poorly) together as a team is a key research focus in the psychological and behavioral sciences and a fundamental problem for team-based organizations. Nevertheless, we have a limited ability to predict the social and work-related dynamics that will emerge from a given combination of team members. In this work, we model vocal turn-taking behavior within conversations as a parametric stochastic process on a network composed of the team members. More precisely, we model the dynamic of exchanging the 'speaker token' among team members as a random walk in a graph that is driven by both individual level features and the conversation history. We fit our model to conversational turn-taking data extracted from audio recordings of multinational student teams during undergraduate engineering design internships. Through this real-world data we validate the explanatory power of our model and we unveil statistically significant differences in speaking behaviors between team members of different nationalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication56th Asilomar Conference on Signals, Systems and Computers, ACSSC 2022
EditorsMichael B. Matthews
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781665459068
StatePublished - 2022
Event56th Asilomar Conference on Signals, Systems and Computers, ACSSC 2022 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: Oct 31 2022Nov 2 2022

Publication series

NameConference Record - Asilomar Conference on Signals, Systems and Computers
ISSN (Print)1058-6393


Conference56th Asilomar Conference on Signals, Systems and Computers, ACSSC 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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