Adding API endpoint to SUSI.AI for Skill Historization

SUSI Skill CMS is an editor to write and edit skill easily. It follows an API centric approach where the Susi server acts as API server. Using Skill CMS we can browse history of a skill, where we get commit ID, commit message  and name the author who made the changes to that skills. In this blogpost we will see how to fetch complete commit history of a skill in the susi skill repository. A skill is a set of intents. One text file represents one skill, it may contain several intents which all belong together. Susi skills are stored in susi_skill_data repository. We can access any skill based on four tuples parameters model, group, language, skill.  For managing version control in skill data repository, the following dependency is added to build.gradle . JGit is a library which implements the Git functionality in Java.

dependencies {
 compile 'org.eclipse.jgit:org.eclipse.jgit:'

To implement our servlet we need to extend our servlet to AbstractAPIHandler. In Susi Server, an abstract class AbstractAPIHandler extending HttpServelets and implementing API handler interface is provided.

public class HistorySkillService extends AbstractAPIHandler implements APIHandler {}

The AbstractAPIHandler checks the permissions of the user using the userroles of and comparing it with the value minimum base role of each servlet. Thus to specify the user permission for a servlet we need Override the getMinimalBaseUserRole method.

    public BaseUserRole getMinimalBaseUserRole() {
        return BaseUserRole.ANONYMOUS;

UserRoles can be Admin, Privilege, User, Anonymous. In our case it is Anonymous. A User need not to log in to access this endpoint.

    public String getAPIPath() {
        return "/cms/getSkillHistory.json";

This methods sets the api endpoint path. One need to send requests at to get the modification history of skill. Next we will implement The ServiceImpl method where we will be processing the user request and giving back the service response.

    public ServiceResponse serviceImpl(Query call, HttpServletResponse response, Authorization rights, final JsonObjectWithDefault permissions) {

        String model_name = call.get("model", "general");
        File model = new File(DAO.model_watch_dir, model_name);
        String group_name = call.get("group", "knowledge");
        File group = new File(model, group_name);
        String language_name = call.get("language", "en");
        File language = new File(group, language_name);
        String skill_name = call.get("skill", "wikipedia");
        File skill = new File(language, skill_name + ".txt");
        JSONArray commitsArray;
        commitsArray = new JSONArray();
        String path = skill.getPath().replace(DAO.model_watch_dir.toString(), "models");
        //Add to git
        FileRepositoryBuilder builder = new FileRepositoryBuilder();
        Repository repository = null;
        try {
            repository = builder.setGitDir((DAO.susi_skill_repo))
                    .readEnvironment() // scan environment GIT_* variables
                    .findGitDir() // scan up the file system tree
            try (Git git = new Git(repository)) {
                Iterable<RevCommit> logs;
                logs = git.log().addPath(path).call();
                int i = 0;
                for (RevCommit rev : logs) {
                    commit = new JSONObject();
                    commit.put("commitRev", rev);
                    commit.put("commitName", rev.getName());
                    commit.put("commitID", rev.getId().getName());
                    commit.put("commit_message", rev.getShortMessage());
                    commitsArray.put(i, commit);
                } success=true;
            } catch (GitAPIException e) {
           } if(commitsArray.length()==0){
        JSONObject result = new JSONObject();
        return new ServiceResponse(result);

To access any skill we need parameters model, group, language. We get this through call.get method where first parameter is the key for which we want to get the value and second parameter is the default value. Based on received model, group and language browse files in that folder we build the susi_skill_data repository path read the git variables and scan up the file system tree using FileRepositoryBuilder build() method. Next we fetch all the logs of the skill file and store them in json commits array and finally pass as a server response with success messages. In case of exceptions, pass service with success flags as false.

We have successfully implemented the servlet. Check the working of endpoint by sending request like and checking the response.

Susi skill cms uses this endpoint to fetch the skill history, try it out at


Using CoreLocation in SUSI iOS

The SUSI Server responds with intelligent answers to the user’s queries. To make these answers better, the server makes use of the user’s location which is sent as a parameter to the query request each time. To implement this feature in the SUSI iOS client, we use the CoreLocation framework provided by Apple which helps us to get the user’s location coordinates and add them as a parameter to each request made.

In order to start with using the CoreLocation framework, we first import it inside the view controller.

import CoreLocation

Now, we create a variable of type CLLocationManager which will help us to use the actual functionality.

// Location Manager
var locationManager = CLLocationManager()

The location manager has some delegate methods which give an option to get the maximum accuracy for a user’s location.  To set that, we need the controller to conform to the CLLocationManagerDelegate, so we create an extension of the view controller conforming to this.

extension MainViewController: CLLocationManagerDelegate {

   // use functionality


Next, we set the manager delegate.

locationManager.delegate = self

And create a method to ask for using the user’s location and set the delegate properties.

func configureLocationManager() {
       locationManager.delegate = self
       if CLLocationManager.authorizationStatus() == .notDetermined || CLLocationManager.authorizationStatus() == .denied {

       locationManager.distanceFilter = kCLDistanceFilterNone
       locationManager.desiredAccuracy = kCLLocationAccuracyBest

Here, we ask for the user location if it was previously denied or is not yet determined and following that, we set the `distanceFilter` as kCLDistanceFilterNone  and `desiredAccuray` as kCLLocationAccuracyBest.. Finally, we are left with starting to update the location which we do by:


We call this method inside viewDidLoad to start updation of the location when the view first loads. The complete extension looks like below:

extension MainViewController: CLLocationManagerDelegate {

   // Configures Location Manager
   func configureLocationManager() {
       locationManager.delegate = self
       if CLLocationManager.authorizationStatus() == .notDetermined || CLLocationManager.authorizationStatus() == .denied {

       locationManager.distanceFilter = kCLDistanceFilterNone
       locationManager.desiredAccuracy = kCLLocationAccuracyBest


Now, it’s very easy to use the location manager and get the coordinates and add it to the params for each request.

if let location = locationManager.location {
   params[Client.ChatKeys.Latitude] = location.coordinate.latitude as AnyObject
   params[Client.ChatKeys.Longitude] = location.coordinate.longitude as AnyObject

Now the params which is a dictionary object is added to each request made so that the user get’s the most accurate results for each query he makes.


Using Vector Images in SUSI Android

SUSI is an artificial intelligence for interactive chat bots. For making it more user friendly and interactive we add a lot of images in the form of drawable resources in the SUSI Android App ( Most of these drawables are in the form of PNGs. There are certain problems associated with the use of PNG images.

  1. PNGs cannot be scaled without losing quality. Due to which for the same PNG image we have to include separate images of varied quality. Otherwise the image will become blur.
  2. PNGs tends to take large disk space which can be easily reduced with the use of vector images.
  3. PNGs have fixed color and dimensions which cannot be changed.

Due to the above shortcomings of PNG images we decided to use vector drawable images instead of them.

Advantages associated with Vector images

  1. They can be scaled to any size without the loss in quality. Thus we need to include only a single image in the app and not of varied qualities.
  2. They are very small in size as compared to PNGs.
  3. They can be easily modified programmatically in XML file unlike PNGs.

Using Vector Images in Android Studio

Android Studio provide tools by which we can directly import vector drawables in the project. To import Vector images go to File>New>Vector Assets in studio.

From here we can choose the icon we want to include in our project and click OK. The icon will appear in the drawables directory and can be used anywhere in the projects.

Implementation in SUSI Android

In Susi Android we have used various vector images such as arrows, pointer and even the logo of the app. Here below is the logo of SUSI.

This is actually a vector image below we will see the code required to get this logo as the output.

<vector android:height="50dp" android:viewportHeight="279.37604"

  android:viewportWidth="1365.2" android:width="220dp" xmlns:android="">

<path android:fillColor="#ffffff"

      android:pathData="M127.5,7.7c-26.8,3.3 -54.2,16.8 -75.9,37.4 -11.8,11.1 -20.4,22.9 -28.1,38.4 -8.9,17.8 -12.8,32.1 -13.7,51l-0.3,6 39,0 39,0 0.3,-4c0.7,-12.1 6.8,-24.1 17.2,-34.5 8.5,-8.4 16.2,-13.4 25.9,-16.7l6.6,-2.2 81.3,-0.1 81.2,0 0,-38 0,-38 -84.7,0.1c-46.7,0.1 -86.1,0.4 -87.8,0.6z" android:strokeColor="#00000000"/>

  <path android:fillColor="#ffffff"

      android:pathData="M319.2,11.3l-4.3,4.3 0.3,103c0.4,113.2 0,105.9 6.4,118.6 10.8,21.3 35.1,41.9 56.2,47.3 8.5,2.3 99.1,2.2 107.7,0 18.7,-4.9 39.2,-20.7 51.5,-39.7 3.4,-5.1 7.1,-12.2 8.3,-15.8l2.2,-6.5 0.5,-103.3 0.5,-103.3 -4.5,-4.4 -4.6,-4.5 -31.5,0 -31.5,0 -4.7,4.8 -4.7,4.8 0,93 0,93 -3.3,3.2 -3.3,3.2 -29,0 -29,0 -2.6,-2.7 -2.7,-2.8 -0.7,-94.2 -0.7,-94.2 -4.3,-4 -4.2,-4.1 -31.9,0 -31.9,0 -4.2,4.3z" android:strokeColor="#00000000"/>

  <path android:fillColor="#ffffff"

      android:pathData="M680,7.6c-31.6,4.8 -56.1,17.3 -79,40.3 -23.2,23.3 -36.3,50.5 -38.9,80.9 -0.5,5.9 -0.7,11 -0.4,11.4 0.2,0.5 17.7,0.8 38.8,0.8l38.4,0 0.6,-4.8c3.2,-23.2 21.3,-44.1 44.7,-51.3 5.6,-1.8 10.6,-1.9 86.6,-1.9l80.7,0 -0.3,-38 -0.2,-38 -84.3,0.1c-46.3,0.1 -85.3,0.3 -86.7,0.5z" android:strokeColor="#00000000"/>

  <path android:fillColor="#ffffff"

      android:pathData="M869.1,13.4l-4.1,6.4 0,126.4 0,126.3 4.8,6.7 4.7,6.8 31.6,0 31.6,0 4.7,-7 4.6,-7 0,-125.7 0,-125.8 -4.7,-6.7 -4.8,-6.8 -32.1,0 -32.1,0 -4.2,6.4z" android:strokeColor="#00000000"/>

  <path android:fillColor="#ffffff"

      android:pathData="M222.5,152.2c-0.2,0.7 -0.9,4.2 -1.5,7.7 -3.4,19.5 -19.4,38 -40,46.4l-5.5,2.2 -83,0.5 -83,0.5 -0.3,37.8 -0.2,37.8 89.2,-0.3 89.3,-0.3 9.6,-2.7c57.7,-16.3 100.1,-67.4 102.1,-123.3l0.3,-7 -38.3,-0.3c-30.1,-0.2 -38.3,0 -38.7,1z" android:strokeColor="#00000000"/>

  <path android:fillColor="#ffffff"

      android:pathData="M774.5,152.2c-0.2,0.7 -0.9,4.1 -1.5,7.5 -3.3,19.2 -18.8,37.3 -39.4,46.2l-6.1,2.6 -83,0.5 -83,0.5 -0.3,37.7 -0.2,37.8 85.9,0c93.7,0 91.4,0.1 110.1,-5.9 26.4,-8.5 53.3,-28.4 69.8,-51.7 15.2,-21.3 25.1,-50.1 24,-69.9l-0.3,-6 -37.8,-0.3c-29.7,-0.2 -37.8,0 -38.2,1z" android:strokeColor="#00000000"/>

  <path android:fillColor="#ffffff" android:pathData="m1146.99,0 l-1.38,1.19c-0.76,0.66 -1.85,1.61 -2.43,2.13 -0.58,0.51 -1.75,1.54 -2.61,2.28 -1.52,1.31 -1.58,1.41 -2.4,3.53 -0.46,1.2 -0.92,2.37 -1.01,2.59 -30.55,82.93 -61.62,165.72 -96.03,259.63 0,0.08 1.61,1.88 3.57,3.98l3.57,3.84 33.47,-0.04 33.47,-0.04c12.28,-35.6 25.13,-72.47 37.4,-107.27 0.06,-0.25 0.28,-0.64 0.5,-0.88 0.37,-0.41 0.61,-0.43 4.2,-0.43 3.63,0 3.83,0.02"/>

  <path android:fillColor="#ffffff" android:pathData="m967.09,279.18c-2.48,-3.74 -4.97,-7.04 -8.09,-11.76l0.09,-43.92c3.34,-5.26 5.31,-6.73 8.42,-11.51 17.91,0.02 34.3,0.26 50.88,0.26 3.21,4.88 4.09,6.72 7.81,12.66 -0.05,13.98 0.1,27.96 -0.12,41.94 -2.9,4.2 -4.27,7.42 -7.78,12.18 -18.81,-0.04 -35.43,0.2 -51.21,0.15z"/>

  <path android:fillColor="#ffffff"

      android:pathData="m1287.3,6.59 l-4.1,6.4 0,126.4 0,126.3 4.8,6.7 4.7,6.8 31.6,0 31.6,0 4.7,-7 4.6,-7 0,-125.7 0,-125.8 -4.7,-6.7 -4.8,-6.8 -32.1,0 -32.1,0 -4.2,6.4z" android:strokeColor="#00000000"/>


In this code we can easily change the color and minor details for the logo which could have been not possible if the logo was in PNG format. Also we don’t need multiple logo images of varied qualities as it can be scaled without decreasing quality.


Using SUSI AI Server to Store User Feedback for a Skill

User feedback is valuable information that plays an important  role in improving the quality of service. In SUSI AI server we are planning to make a feedback mechanism to see if the user liked the answer or not. The result of that user input (which can be given using a vote button) will be then learned to enhance the future use of the rule. So as a first step for implementation of  skill rating system with guided learning, we need to store the user rating of a skill . In this blogpost we will learn how to make an endpoint for getting skill rating from user. This API endpoint will be used  by its web and mobile clients.
Before the implementation of API  let’s look how data is stored in SUSI AI Susi_server uses DAO in which skill rating is stored as JSONTray. 

 public JsonTray(File file_persistent, File file_volatile, int cachesize) throws IOException {
        this.per = new JsonFile(file_persistent);
        this.vol = new CacheMap<String, JSONObject>(cachesize);
        this.file_volatile = file_volatile;
        if (file_volatile != null && file_volatile.exists()) try {
            JSONObject j = JsonFile.readJson(file_volatile);
            for (String key: j.keySet()) this.vol.put(key, j.getJSONObject(key));
        } catch (IOException e) {

JsonTray takes three parameters the persistent file, volatile file and cache size to store them as cache map in String and JsonObject pairs. The HttpServlet class which provides methods, such as doGet and doPost, for handling HTTP-specific services.In Susi Server an abstract class AbstractAPIHandler extending HttpServelets and implementing API handler interface is provided. Next we will inherit our RateSkillService class from AbstractAPIHandler and implement APIhandler interface.

public class RateSkillService extends AbstractAPIHandler implements APIHandler {
    private static final long serialVersionUID =7947060716231250102L;
    public BaseUserRole getMinimalBaseUserRole() {
        return BaseUserRole.ANONYMOUS;

    public JSONObject getDefaultPermissions(BaseUserRole baseUserRole) {
        return null;

    public String getAPIPath() {
        return "/cms/rateSkill.json";


The getMinimalBaseRole method tells the minimum Userrole required to access this servlet it can also be ADMIN, USER. In our case it is Anonymous. A User need not to log in to access this endpoint. The getAPIPath() methods sets the API endpoint path, it gets appended to base path which is for local host .

Next we will implement serviceImpl method

    public ServiceResponse serviceImpl(Query call, HttpServletResponse response, Authorization rights, final JsonObjectWithDefault permissions) {

        String model_name = call.get("model", "general");
        File model = new File(DAO.model_watch_dir, model_name);
        String group_name = call.get("group", "knowledge");
        File group = new File(model, group_name);
        String language_name = call.get("language", "en");
        File language = new File(group, language_name);
        String skill_name = call.get("skill", null);
        File skill = new File(language, skill_name + ".txt");
        String skill_rate = call.get("rating", null);

        JSONObject result = new JSONObject();
        result.put("accepted", false);
        if (!skill.exists()) {
            result.put("message", "skill does not exist");
            return new ServiceResponse(result);

        JsonTray skillRating = DAO.skillRating;
        JSONObject modelName = new JSONObject();
        JSONObject groupName = new JSONObject();
        JSONObject languageName = new JSONObject();
        if (skillRating.has(model_name)) {
            modelName = skillRating.getJSONObject(model_name);
            if (modelName.has(group_name)) {
                groupName = modelName.getJSONObject(group_name);
                if (groupName.has(language_name)) {
                    languageName = groupName.getJSONObject(language_name);
                    if (languageName.has(skill_name)) {
                        JSONObject skillName = languageName.getJSONObject(skill_name);
                        skillName.put(skill_rate, skillName.getInt(skill_rate) + 1 + "");
                        languageName.put(skill_name, skillName);
                        groupName.put(language_name, languageName);
                        modelName.put(group_name, groupName);
                        skillRating.put(model_name, modelName, true);
                        result.put("accepted", true);
                        result.put("message", "Skill ratings updated");
                        return new ServiceResponse(result);
        languageName.put(skill_name, createRatingObject(skill_rate));
        groupName.put(language_name, languageName);
        modelName.put(group_name, groupName);
        skillRating.put(model_name, modelName, true);
        result.put("accepted", true);
        result.put("message", "Skill ratings added");
        return new ServiceResponse(result);


    /* Utility function*/
    public JSONObject createRatingObject(String skill_rate) {
        JSONObject skillName = new JSONObject();
        skillName.put("positive", "0");
        skillName.put("negative", "0");
        skillName.put(skill_rate, skillName.getInt(skill_rate) + 1 + "");
        return skillName;


One can access any skill based on four tuples parameters model, group, language, skill. Before rating a skill we must ensure whether it exists or not. We can get the required parameters through call.get() method where first parameter is the key for which we want to get the value and second parameter is the default value. If skill.exists() method return false we generate error message stating “No such skill exists”. Otherwise check if the skill exist in our skillRating.json file if so, update the current ratings otherwise create a new json object and add it to rating file based on model, group and language. After successful implementation go ahead and test your endpoint on http://localhost:4000/cms/rateSkill.json?model=general&group=knowledge&skill=who&rating=positive

You can also check for the updated json file in  susi_server/data/skill_rating/skillRating.json 

{"general": {
 "assistants": {"en": {
   "language_translation": {
     "negative": "1",
     "positive": "0"
 "smalltalk": {"en": {
   "aboutsusi": {
   "negative": "0",
   "positive": "1"
 "knowledge": {"en": {
   "who": {
     "negative": "2",
     "positive": "4"

And if the skill is not present if will generate error message

We have successfully implemented the API endpoint for storing the user skill’s feedback. For more information take a look at Susi server and join gitter chat channel for discussions.


Auto deployment of SUSI Skill CMS on gh pages

Susi Skill CMS is a web application framework to edit susi skills. It is currently in development stage, hosted on It is built using ReactJS . In this blogpost we will see how to automatically deploy the repository on gh pages.
Setting up the project
Fork susi_skill_cms repository and clone it to your desktop, make sure you have node and npm versions greater than 6 and 3 respectively. Next go to cloned folder and install all the dependencies by running :

:$ npm install

Next run on http://localhost:3000 by running the command

:$ npm run start

To auto deploy changes on gh-pages branch, we need to setup Travis for the project. Register yourself on and turn on the Travis for this repository. Next add .travis.yml in the root directory of the source folder.  

sudo: required
dist: trusty
language: node_js
  - 6

  - export CHROME_BIN=chromium-browser
  - export DISPLAY=:99.0
  - sh -e /etc/init.d/xvfb start

  - npm run build

  - npm run test

  - bash ./

  directories: node_modules

# safelist
  - master 


The travis configuration files will ensure that the project is building for every changes made, using npm run test command, in our case it will only consider changes made on master branch , if you want to watch other branches to add the respective branch name in travis configurations. After checking for build passing we need to automatically push the changes made for which we will use a bash script.



# Pull requests and commits to other branches shouldn't try to deploy.
if [ "$TRAVIS_PULL_REQUEST" != "false" -o "$TRAVIS_BRANCH" != "$SOURCE_BRANCH" ]; then
    echo "Skipping deploy; The request or commit is not on master"
    exit 0

# Save some useful information
REPO=`git config remote.origin.url`
SSH_REPO=${REPO/https:\/\/\[email protected]:}
SHA=`git rev-parse --verify HEAD`

openssl aes-256-cbc -K $encrypted_2662bc12c918_key -iv $encrypted_2662bc12c918_iv -in deploy_key.enc -out ../deploy_key -d
chmod 600 ../deploy_key
eval `ssh-agent -s`
ssh-add ../deploy_key

# Cloning the repository to repo/ directory,
# Creating gh-pages branch if it doesn't exists else moving to that branch
git clone $REPO repo
cd repo
git checkout $TARGET_BRANCH || git checkout --orphan $TARGET_BRANCH
cd ..

# Setting up the username and email.
git config "Travis CI"

# Cleaning up the old repo's gh-pages branch except CNAME file and 404.html
find repo/* ! -name "CNAME" ! -name "404.html" -maxdepth 1  -exec rm -rf {} \; 2> /dev/null
cd repo

git add --all
git commit -m "Travis CI Clean Deploy : ${SHA}"

git checkout $SOURCE_BRANCH

# Actual building and setup of current push or PR.
npm install
npm run build
mv build ../build/

git checkout $TARGET_BRANCH
rm -rf node_modules/
mv ../build/* .
cp index.html 404.html

# Staging the new build for commit; and then committing the latest build
git add -A
git commit --amend --no-edit --allow-empty

# Deploying only if the build has changed
if [ -z `git diff --name-only HEAD HEAD~1` ]; then

  echo "No Changes in the Build; exiting"
  exit 0

  # There are changes in the Build; push the changes to gh-pages
  echo "There are changes in the Build; pushing the changes to gh-pages"

  # Actual push to gh-pages branch via Travis
  git push --force $SSH_REPO $TARGET_BRANCH

Source : Bash script for automatic deployment

This bash script will enable travis ci user to push changes to gh pages, for this we need to store the credentials of the repository in encrypted form. To get the public/ private rsa keys use the following command

ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096 -C "[email protected]"

It will generate keys in .ssh/id_rsa folder in your home repository.

Make sure you do not enter any passphrase while generating credentials otherwise travis will get stuck at time of decrypting the keys. Copy the public key and deploy the key to repository by visiting<your name>/<your repo>/settings/keys

Next install travis for encryption of keys.

sudo apt install ruby ruby-dev
sudo gem install travis

Encrypt your private deploy_key and add it to root of your repository using command

travis encrypt-file deploy_key

After successful encryption, you will see a message

Please add the following to your build script (before_install stage in your .travis.yml, for instance):

openssl aes-256-cbc -K $encrypted_2662bc12c918_key -iv $encrypted_2662bc12c918_iv -in deploy_key.enc -out ../deploy_key -d

Add the above generated script in travis and push the changes on your master branch. Do not push the deploy_key only the encryption file deploy_key.enc
Finally, add the deploy link of gh pages in package.json of your using key “homepage”.

 "homepage": ""

And in scripts of package.json add

"deploy": "gh-pages -d build",

Commit and push your changes and from now onward all your changes will be automatically pushed to gh pages branch. For contribution visit Susi_Skill_CMS.


How SUSI Analyzes A Given Response

Ever wondered where SUSI’s answers come from? Now Susi has ability to do an answer analysis. To get that analysis, just ask susi “analysis”. This will set susi into an analysis mode, will tell where the latest answer came from and will give you the link for improving the skill.

Let’s check out how Susi analysis work. The skill for analysis is defined  en_0001_foundation.txt  as following

analysis|analyse|analyze|* analysis|* analyse|* analyze|analysis *|analyse *|analyze *
My previous answer is defined in the skill $skill$. You can help to improve this skill and <a href="$skill_link$" target="_blank"> edit it in the code repository here.</a>

$skill$ and $skill_link$ are the variable compiled using

public static final Pattern variable_pattern = Pattern.compile("\\$.*?\\$");

These variables are memorized in Susi cognition. A cognition is the combination of a query of a user with the response of susi.

SusiThought dispute = new SusiThought();
List<String> skills = clonedThought.getSkills();
 if (skills.size() > 0) {
    dispute.addObservation("skill", skills.get(0));

Susi Thought is a piece of data that can be remembered. The structure of the thought is modeled as a table in which information contained in it is organized in rows and columns.

 public SusiThought addObservation(String featureName, String observation) ;

One can memorize using addObservation() method.  It takes two parameter featureName the object key and observation the object value. It is a table of information pieces as a set of rows which all have the same column names. It inserts the new data always in front of existing similar data rather than overwriting them.

 public String getSkillLink(String skillPath) {
       String link=skillPath;
        if(skillPath.startsWith("/susi_server")) {
            link ="" + skillPath.substring("/susi_server".length());
        } else if (skillPath.startsWith("/susi_skill_data")) {
            link = "" + skillPath.substring("/susi_skill_data".length());
        return link;

The getSkillLink is a utitlity method to return the link of the skill source github repository based on skillPath.

private String skill;
SusiThought recall;
final SusiArgument flow = new SusiArgument().think(recall);
this.skill = origin.getAbsolutePath();
 if (this.skill != null && this.skill.length() > 0) flow.addSkill(this.skill);

The source of the skill gets added in using getAbsolutePath() method which resolves the skill path in the filesystem. Intent  considers the key from the user query, matches the intent tokens to get the optimum result and produces json like

 "data": [
        "object": "If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done.",
        "0": "tell me a quote",
        "token_original": "quote",
        "token_canonical": "quote",
        "token_categorized": "quote",
        "timezoneOffset": "-330",
        "answer": "When you discover your mission, you will feel its demand. It will fill you with enthusiasm and a burning desire to get to work on it. ",
        "skill_link": "",
        "query": "tell me a quote",
        "skill": "/susi_skill_data/models/general/entertainment/en/quotes.txt"

The getskills() method returns list of skill from json which are later added for memorization.

    public List<String> getSkills() {
        List<String> skills = new ArrayList<>();
        getSkillsJSON().forEach(skill -> skills.add((String) skill));
        return skills;

This is how Susi is able to fetch  where the answer came from. Next time when you have a chat with susi do check skill analysis and add your ideas to improve the skill. Take a look at Susi_skill_data for more skills and  read this tutorial  for creating skills for susi.


Using Variables in a SUSI skill

One of the best feature provided in making a skill is the ease of using variables. From storing the favourite book of the user to the most recent movie he searched for to the mood he is in, variables play an indispensable part. If any problem is faced with the code part, the skill referred in this blog is coded in this file in susi_skill_data repository

This link refers to the official docs of SUSI, which walk you through some basic examples of how to use variables in a SUSI skill. Great skills can be achieved using them like the skill below:

It’s easy to make such skills by using variables. Let’s check it out how this skill can be achieved.

To store value in a variable we use this syntax during the skill development


First, let’s save the favourite dish of the user and then we will try to surprise him/her with a witty answer.

I love * dish

So, if the user types “I love biryani dish”, $1$ will be equal to biryani. Let’s save it to _userFavouriteDish variable.

Now if user asks “What should i eat” to SUSI, I bet SUSI will answer a well calculated answer!

What should i eat?
I am sure you will love $_userFavouriteDish$!

Another example that can answer back the user efficiently:

How to cook biryani?

#Gives recipies and links to cook a dish
* cook *
!console:To cook  $title$ , check out $href$ and make sure you have $ingredients$! ^$2$^>_recentSearch

In the above code, we saved the dish searched for at the end of the output.

If somehow user ends up asking “what is the most recent dish i searched for”. It’s skill will be:

what is the most recent dish I searched for?
It was $_recentSearch$

Even if before asking this question, user asks “how to cook sushi”. The _recentSearch variable will be overridden with value “sushi” instead of “biryani”. Hence, SUSI won’t mistake answering “most recent dish” as “sushi”!

Now I think we are bit comfortable with use of variables in a skill. Let’s get back to our target skill i.e. remembering skill. We store the thing asked to remember in a variable having the same name as of that thing and the statement related to it as the value of that variable. Examples:

Remember that my keys are on the table. So the variable will be named “keys” and it’s value will be “on the table”.

Remember that my birthday is on 20th of December. So the variable will be named “birthday” and it’s value will be “on 20th of December”.

Remember that my meetings are at 8 pm with mentors and at 9:30 pm with Shruti. So the variable will be named “meetings” and it’s value will be “at 8 pm with mentors and at 9:30 pm with Shruti”.

Hence the skill:

Remember that my * is * | Remember that my * is *
Okay, remembered!^$2$^>_$1$

When the user will ask for any of its thing, we will just show the value of the variable having the same name as of the thing asked. Examples:

#$_keys$ will be our answer
Where are my keys?
On the table                   

#$_meetings$ will be our answer
When are my meetings?
at 8 pm with mentors and at 9:30 pm with Shruti

Hence the skill which answers the question is:

when are my * | where is my * | where are my *

So the skill as a whole will be:

Remember that my * is * | Remember that my * is *
Okay, remembered!^$2$^>_$1$

when are my * | where is my * | where are my *


Calculation of the Frame Size of the Chat Bubble in SUSI iOS

We receive intelligent responses from the SUSI Server based on our query. Each response contains a different set of actions and the content of the action can be of variable sizes, map, string, table, pie chart, etc. To make the chat bubble size dynamic in the SUSI iOS client, we need to check the action type. For each action, we calculate a different frame size which makes the size of the chat bubble dynamic and hence solving the issue of dynamic size of these bubbles.

In order to calculate the frame size, as mentioned above, we need to check the action type of that message. Let’s start by first making the API call sending the query and getting the action types as a response.

func queryResponse(_ params: [String : AnyObject], _ completion: @escaping(_ messages: List<Message>?, _ success: Bool, _ error: String?) -> Void) {

   let url = getApiUrl(UserDefaults.standard.object(forKey: ControllerConstants.UserDefaultsKeys.ipAddress) as! String, Methods.Chat)

       _ = makeRequest(url, .get, [:], parameters: params, completion: { (results, message) in
           if let _ = message {
               completion(nil, false, ResponseMessages.ServerError)
           } else if let results = results {

               guard let response = results as? [String : AnyObject] else {
                   completion(nil, false, ResponseMessages.InvalidParams)

               let messages = Message.getAllActions(data: response)
               completion(messages, true, nil)

Here, we are sending the query in the params dictionary. The `makeRequest` method makes the actual API call and returns a results object and an error object if any which default to `nil`. First, we check if the error variable is `nil` or not and if it is, we parse the complete response by using a helper method created in the Message object called `getAllActions`. This basically takes the response and gives us a list of messages of all action types returned for that query.

In order to display this in the UI, we need to call this method in the View Controller to actually use the result. Here is how we call this method.

var params: [String : AnyObject] = [
 Client.WebsearchKeys.Query: inputTextView.text! as AnyObject,
 Client.ChatKeys.TimeZoneOffset: ControllerConstants.timeZone as AnyObject,
       Client.ChatKeys.Language: Locale.current.languageCode as AnyObject

if let location = locationManager.location {
 params[Client.ChatKeys.Latitude] = location.coordinate.latitude as AnyObject
       params[Client.ChatKeys.Longitude] = location.coordinate.longitude as AnyObject

if let userData = UserDefaults.standard.dictionary(forKey: ControllerConstants.UserDefaultsKeys.user) as [String : AnyObject]? {
 let user = User(dictionary: userData)
        params[Client.ChatKeys.AccessToken] = user.accessToken as AnyObject

Client.sharedInstance.queryResponse(params) { (messages, success, _) in
 DispatchQueue.main.async {
 if success {
                            for message in messages! {
                                try! self.realm.write {
                                    let indexPath = IndexPath(item: self.messages.count - 1, section: 0)
                                    self.collectionView?.insertItems(at: [indexPath])
                        }, completion: { (_) in

Here, we are creating a params object sending the query and some additional parameters such as time zone, location coordinates and access token identifying the user. After the response is received, which contains a list of messages, we use a method called `performBatchUpdates` on the collection view where we loop through all the messages, writing each one of them to the database and then adding at the end of the collection view. Here we got all the messages inside the `messages` list object where each message can be checked for its action type and a frame can be calculated for the same.

Since the frame for each cell is returned in the `sizeForItemAt` delegate method of the collectionViewDelegate, we first grab the message using its indexPath and check the action type for each such message added to the collection view.

if message.actionType == {
   // map action
} else if message.actionType == ActionType.rss.rawValue {
   // rss action type
} else if message.actionType == ActionType.websearch.rawValue {
   // web search action

Since map action will be a static map, we use a hard coded value for the map’s height and the width equals to the width of the cell frame.

CGSize(width: view.frame.width, height: Constants.mapActionHeight)

Next, web search and rss action having the same UI, will have the same frame size but the number of cells inside each of the frame for these action depends on number of responses were received from the server.

CGSize(width: view.frame.width, height: Constants.rssActionHeight)

And the check can be condensed as well, instead of checking each action separately, we use a `||` (pipes) or an `OR`.

else if message.actionType == ActionType.rss.rawValue ||
            message.actionType == ActionType.websearch.rawValue {
           // web search and rss action

The anchor and answer action types, are supposed to display a string in the chat bubble. So the chat bubble size can be calculated using the following method:

let size = CGSize(width: Constants.maxCellWidth, height: Constants.maxCellHeight)
let options = NSStringDrawingOptions.usesFontLeading.union(.usesLineFragmentOrigin)
let estimatedFrame = NSString(string: messageBody).boundingRect(with: size, options: options, attributes: [NSFontAttributeName: UIFont.systemFont(ofSize: Constants.messageFontSize)], context: nil)

Here, we first create a maximum frame size that can exist. Then, using the drawingOptions create an options variable. The actual calculation of the frame happens in the last method where we use the complete message string and this returns us the actual frame for the above action types. Use the above method to get the frame in the `CGRect` type.

Below, is the complete method used for this calculation:

func collectionView(_ collectionView: UICollectionView, layout collectionViewLayout: UICollectionViewLayout, sizeForItemAt indexPath: IndexPath) -> CGSize {
        let message = messages[indexPath.row]
        let estimatedFrame = self.estimatedFrame(messageBody: message.message)
        if message.actionType == {
            return CGSize(width: view.frame.width, height: Constants.mapActionHeight)
        } else if message.actionType == ActionType.rss.rawValue ||
            message.actionType == ActionType.websearch.rawValue {
            return CGSize(width: view.frame.width, height: Constants.rssActionType)
        return CGSize(width: view.frame.width, height: estimatedFrame.height + Constants.answerActionMargin)

rn CGSize(width: view.frame.width, height: estimatedFrame.height + Constants.answerActionMargin)

Below are the results of the app in action.


Using Day Night Theme in SUSI Android

SUSI is an artificial intelligence for interactive chat bots. It provides response to the user in most intuitive way. Therefore we thought why not implement the option to give theme preference to the user to make it more interactive. It will also help in increasing the user’s interest towards the application.

We tried out different themes and then finally decided to settle for the newly announced Day Night Theme for the SUSI Android App ( This theme is provided by AppCompat 23.2.0 . With the help of this theme we can switch between Theme.AppCompat.Light (light) and Theme.AppCompat (dark) based on the user preference and time of day. For default the theme is set to the light theme and it can be easily changed from the settings. Thus it allows the user to change the theme according to his or her mood which looks very intuitive.

How to use this theme?

To use the Day Night theme is quite simple. We just need to extend our default theme to that of Theme.AppCompat.DayNight. The declaration is done as shown below in the screenshot.

<style name="MyTheme" parent="Theme.AppCompat.DayNight">

  <!-- Blah blah -->


Now to enable different features of the theme in our application we need to call AppCompatDelegate.setDefaultNightMode(). It takes one of the following values as the parameter.

  • MODE_NIGHT_NO. This is for the day (light) theme.
  • MODE_NIGHT_YES.This is for the night (dark) theme.
  • MODE_NIGHT_AUTO. It automatically changes between the above two themes based on the time of day.
  • MODE_NIGHT_FOLLOW_SYSTEM (default). This theme is dependent on the system settings of the user mobile phone.

We can set one of these parameters at the time of calling the function to fix the theme of the application in the following way.

static {




The theme inside an activity is set at the time time of calling onCreate() method. Therefore we cannot change the theme from any other place inside our activity apart from onCreate(). If we want to set it inside our activity but outside the onCreate() method then we have to call the recreate() function to recreate the whole activity which will implement the selected theme.Let us look at the example.

public class MyActivity extends AppCompatActivity {

 public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {


      if (savedInstanceState == null) {

          // Set the local night mode to some value



          // Now recreate for it to take effect





To take care of the text colors in our app we can set textColor attribute as


Now let us look at the implementation in Susi Android

In Susi Android we are providing user the option to select either the dark or the light theme in the settings.

The code for the implementation is as below


protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {


  prefs = getSharedPreferences(Constant.THEME, MODE_PRIVATE);

  if(prefs.getString(Constant.THEME,"Dark").equals("Dark")) {



  else {





The result output for the light theme is

To learn more about themes in Android you can refer to this link.