AAAI Publications, Twenty-Fourth International FLAIRS Conference

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Learning a Tutorial Dialogue Policy for Delayed Feedback
Kristy Elizabeth Boyer, Robert Phillips, Eun Young Ha, Michael Wallis, Mladen Vouk, James Lester

Last modified: 2011-03-21


Creating natural language tutorial dialogue systems that realize effective strategies is a central challenge for intelligent tutoring systems research. Traditional approaches generally require large development time, do not generalize well across domains, and do not match the flexibility and natural language sophistication of human tutors. A promising approach that may offer several benefits is data-driven system development, in which a dialogue policy is learned from corpora of human tutorial dialogue. To date these learning approaches typically focus on optimizing the tutor’s choice of act, and do not explicitly model the instances in which the tutor chose not to act. This paper reports on a hidden Markov modeling (HMM) approach within human textual tutorial dialogue that explicitly represents the tutors’ choices not to intervene. The results show that an HMM that models tutor non-interventions predicts tutor moves significantly better than a model that does not explicitly represent the non-interventions. The findings have implications for automatically modeling tutorial strategies and for learning dialogue policies from corpora.

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