Towards Adaptive Spoken Dialogue Agents

Diane J. Litman

Although it is now possible to build real-time spoken dialogue systems for a wide variety of applications, designing the dialogue strategy of such systems involves a number of nontrivial design choices. These choices can seriously impact system performance, and include choosing appropriate strategies for initiative (whether to accept relatively open-ended versus constrained user utterances) and confirmation (when to confirm a user’s previous utterance). Typically, dialogue strategy design has been done in an ad-hoc manner. This paper summarizes how my recent research has addressed the design, implementation, and experimental evaluation of methods for dynamically adapting and optimizing a system’s dialogue strategy, in order to improve system performance.


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