Demo: In-Context Email Annotation with Microsoft Outlook

This site contains information and resources related to Andrew Lampert's email classification research.

Message-Level Annotation

Message-level annotation involves marking email messages on two dimensions: whether they contain one or more requests, and whether they contain one or more commitments.

Message-level annotation can be performed either from the folder view (whilst interacting with a list of messages in a folder), or from the message view, whilst reading a single email message.

The Folder View Indicators in the plug-in integrate request and commitment information into the standard Outlook folder views. Message-level requests and commitments may be annotated within the folder view by selecting a message in the folder, and then using the toolbar buttons in the Inbox pane ribbon to annotate the message.

When a user views their inbox or folder content, two additional fields are displayed, as shown in the image below.

The two additioanl fields indicate the presence of requests and commitments in each message, in the same way as other familiar message properties, such as message categories, or message urgency. Because of the nature of the interface, only message-level presence is indicated; no detail of any request or commitment text-spans is shown. The field indicators are three-state, indicating that amessage contains:

  1. No Request/Commitment: a blank Request or Commitment field;
  2. One or More Unfulfilled Requests/Commitments: an unchecked tickbox in the appropriate field; or
  3. One or More Completed Requests/Commitments: a checked tickbox in the appropriate field.

These fields also allow messages to be easily sorted based on their request or commitment content, and thus provide the user with a way to very quickly obtain an overview of the outstanding tasks in a folder.

For an open email message, three buttons are added to the standard Outlook ribbon: a Request button, a Commitment button and an Add Task button, as shown at right. Clicking on either the Request or Commitment button without any text selected in the message annotates a message-level request or commitment for the open message.

See the next section for details of how to record utterance-level annotations.

Previous Step: Plug-in Overview | Next Step: Utterance Annotation

If you make use of any of these resources, please cite the following paper:

Lampert A, Breese D, Paris C and Dale R - A Tool for Capturing Context-Sensitive Judgements in Email Data, CSIRO ICT Centre Technical Report (EP092057), September 2009.