A Constraint Satisfaction Framework for Managing Mixed-Initiative Discourse

Toby Donaldson and Robin Cohen

We outline a three-part goal-oriented model of turn-taking, and apply it to the design of a constraint-based conversational agent. We give a detailed example of how an agent can use constraints to manage and choose from multiple turn-taking goals available for it to pursue. Our model is flexible enough to allow arbitary turn-taking behaviour on the part of any conversant, and so allows for mixed-initiative interaction between systems and users.

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