Is Explicit Representation of Initiative Desirable?

Bradford W. Miller

The TRAINS-96 system does not explicitly represent initiative, yet it is clearly a mixed-initiative system. As we move toward commercializing efforts in discourse systems, it is important to remember that having a system make inferences that could otherwise have been "compiled away" can lead to slow response time. This paper is a statement of need for a taxonomy of domains for various features a discourse system may need to support the domain and an initial attempt at specifics with respect to the symbolic representation and manipulation of initiative.

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