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Barge-in, also called "allow interrupt" or "recognize during prompt," is the ability of the system to allow callers to interrupt or barge in during voice playback by speaking a vocabulary word. Speech recognition accepts either speech or touchtone input in response to a prompt. Barge-in operates for speech much like the talkoff option does for touchtone input, where a caller can interrupt the prompt by pressing a touchtone key on the telephone keypad. For more information on touchtone interrupts, see Dual Tone Multifrequency (DTMF) support.

Experienced callers appreciate being able to shorten the transaction time by not being required to listen completely to each prompt. You can enable or disable barge-in for any of the prompts in your application.

The system is able to detect touchtones immediately. However, it does take a few seconds longer to detect valid speech, as opposed to a cough, sneeze, and so on. You should expect a slight delay when using barge-in.

For isolated word recognition, the prompt does not stop until the system recognizes a valid vocabulary word. Once the prompt completes playback, the initial timeout field eventually ends the recognition if no valid input is received.

For packages that support connected-digit recognition, the playback of the prompt stops between the recognition of the first and last word of the input, when the system decides that valid input has started.

Enabling or disabling barge-in

Enabling barge-in for prompts in IVR Designer applications is done by setting the Allow Interrupt field to true in the Response tab of the Menu node, the Prompt and Collect node, or the Automenu node. For more information, see the appropriate node description in the Avaya IVR Designer Help.

If your application does use barge-in, be sure your prompts are worded so that callers know they cannot speak until the prompt is finished. For example, look at the wording and the <pause> length of the prompts in Discouraging Barge-In. There are no large gaps of silence to tempt callers to speak barge in.

Discouraging barge-in

The following example includes short pauses that tell the caller that the system is waiting for a response. The caller answers at the time of the short pause.

"For sales say, `one'.'" (short pause)
"For service, say, `two'." (short pause)
"To speak with a representative, say `three'."

The following example does not include pauses. The caller waits until the prompt is completed before answering.

"You can order up to five copies. Please say how may copies you want."

If there is silence at the end of a prompt, the caller might speak but the system might not be prepared to listen. Make sure that there is no silence at the end of your recorded phrases when barge-in is disabled.

Encouraging barge-in

The following examples are designed to encourage callers to barge in when barge-in is enabled. Note that the pauses are longer than in the examples in Discouraging Barge-In, so callers are encouraged to respond after hearing the desired option and the word "now."

"For sales say, `one' now." (pause of 1 to 1.5 seconds)
"For service, say, `two' now." (pause of 1 to 1.5 second)
"For a representative, say `three' now." (pause of 1 to 1.5 seconds)

System response for barge-in

For an application using speech recognition with barge-in, callers who choose to talk over the prompt message can not barge-in until most of the digit string is spoken. The distinction in response is as follows:

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