Spoken Natural Language Dialog Systems: A Practical Approach [NOOK Book]

Overview

As spoken natural language dialog systems technology continues to make great strides, numerous issues regarding dialog processing still need to be resolved. This book presents an exciting new dialog processing architecture that allows for a number of behaviors required for effective human-machine interactions, including: problem-solving to help the user carry out a task, coherent subdialog movement during the problem-solving process, user model usage, expectation usage for contextual interpretation and error ...
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Spoken Natural Language Dialog Systems: A Practical Approach

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Overview

As spoken natural language dialog systems technology continues to make great strides, numerous issues regarding dialog processing still need to be resolved. This book presents an exciting new dialog processing architecture that allows for a number of behaviors required for effective human-machine interactions, including: problem-solving to help the user carry out a task, coherent subdialog movement during the problem-solving process, user model usage, expectation usage for contextual interpretation and error correction, and variable initiative behavior for interacting with users of differing expertise. The book also details how different dialog problems in processing can be handled simultaneously, and provides instructions and in-depth result from pertinent experiments. Researchers and professionals in natural language systems will find this important new book an invaluable addition to their libraries.

"The system described in the book is impressive as one of a small number of complete and working spoken natural language dialogue systems that have been developed . . . . Many of the techniques in the book are interesting and well thought out, and should prompt useful discussion and further work. I would therefore recommend it to those working in computational linguistics who are concerned with practical issues, as a book to be read seriously but critically." --The Computer Journal
"It is nice to see these ideas put together and made to work for the teaching task."--User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction
"The book is well organized, with useful figures and appendices, a good index and comprehensive references. ... The book offers a wonderful model for thepresentation of a complex AI project." -- Computing Reviews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195357912
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 2/2/1995
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

East Carolina University

Wyrick and Company, Inc.

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Table of Contents

1 Achieving Spoken Communication with Computers 3
1.1 Problem Solving Environment: Task-Oriented Dialogs 6
1.2 Integrating Dialog with Task Assistance: The Target Behaviors 7
1.2.1 Problem Solving to Achieve a Goal 8
1.2.2 Subdialogs and Effective Movement Between Them 8
1.2.3 Accounting for User Knowledge and Abilities 10
1.2.4 Expectation of User Input 11
1.2.5 Variable Initiative 11
1.2.6 Integrated Behavior Via the Missing Axiom Theory 12
1.3 Preliminary Study 13
1.4 An Outline of the Book 13
2 Foundational Work in Integrated Dialog Processing 15
2.1 Problem Solving in an Interactive Environment 15
2.2 Language Use in a Problem-Solving Environment 16
2.2.1 The Missing Axiom Theory 16
2.2.2 Speech Act Theory 17
2.2.3 Computational Speech Act Theory: Analyzing Intentions 18
2.2.4 Differing Subdialog Purposes: The Plan-Based Theory of Litman and Allen 21
2.2.5 Collective Intentions 22
2.3 User Model 23
2.3.1 General User Modeling Architecture 24
2.3.2 Using User Model Information in Generation 26
2.3.3 Acquiring User Model Information 27
2.4 Expectation Usage 29
2.4.1 Speech Recognition 29
2.4.2 Plan Recognition 29
2.5 Variable Initiative Theory 31
2.5.1 Defining Initiative 31
2.5.2 Discourse Structure in Variable Initiative Dialogs 32
2.5.3 Plan Recognition for Variable Initiative Dialog 32
2.6 Integrated Dialog Processing Theory 33
2.6.1 Subdialog Switching: Reichman's Conversational Moves 33
2.6.2 Beyond Speech Acts: Conversation Acts of Traum and Hinkelman 35
2.6.3 Integrated Discourse Structure: The Tripartite Model of Grosz and Sidner 36
2.7 Dialog Systems 38
2.7.1 Requirements 39
2.7.2 Portable Systems 39
2.7.3 Question-Answer Systems: Keyboard Input 42
2.7.4 Spoken Input Systems 42
2.7.5 A Discourse System 44
2.7.6 Variable Initiative Systems 45
2.8 Summary 46
3 Dialog Processing Theory 47
3.1 System Architecture 47
3.2 Modeling Interactive Task Processing 51
3.2.1 Computer and User Prerequisites 51
3.2.2 A Domain-Independent Language for Describing Goals, Actions, and States 52
3.2.3 Robust Selection of Task Steps 54
3.2.4 Determining Task Step Completion 55
3.2.5 What About Dialog? 57
3.3 Integrating Task Processing with Dialog: The Missing Axiom Theory 57
3.3.1 The Role of Language: Supplying Missing Axioms 58
3.3.2 Interruptible Theorem Proving Required [implies] IPSIM 58
3.4 Exploiting Dialog Context: User Model 59
3.4.1 Accounting for User Knowledge and Abilities 59
3.4.2 Computing Inferences from User Input 60
3.4.3 User Model Usage: Integrating Task Processing with Dialog 60
3.5 Exploiting Dialog Context: Input Expectations 63
3.5.1 Foundations of Expectation-Driven Processing 63
3.5.2 Using Expectation-Driven Processing 64
3.6 A Theory of Variable Initiative Dialog 68
3.6.1 Defining Variable Initiative and Dialog Mode 68
3.6.2 Response Formulation in Variable Initiative Dialog 70
3.7 Putting the Pieces Together 72
3.7.1 What Is a Dialog? 72
3.7.2 Integrated Theory 73
4 Computational Model 75
4.1 Dialog Processing Algorithm 75
4.1.1 Motivation and Basic Steps 75
4.1.2 Tracing the Basic Steps 77
4.2 Receiving Suggestion from Domain Processor 78
4.3 Selection of Next Goal 79
4.4 Attempting Goal Completion 81
4.4.1 Step 2a: Attempt to Prove Completion 87
4.4.2 Step 2b: Computing Final Utterance Specification 88
4.4.3 Step 2c: Computing Expectations for the User's Response 89
4.4.4 Step 2d: Receiving User Input 94
4.4.5 Step 2e: Computing World Interpretation 95
4.4.6 Steps 2f and 2g: Updating Context and Discourse Structure 96
4.4.7 Step 2h: Computing Inferences from the Input 97
4.4.8 Step 2i: Selecting Applicable Axiom 97
4.5 Updating System Knowledge 101
4.6 Determine Next Domain Processor Operation 102
4.7 Solutions to Dialog Processing Problems 103
4.7.1 Interrupts 103
4.7.2 Robustness and the Handling of Speech Recognition Errors 115
4.7.3 Variable Initiative Dialog 117
4.8 Integrated Dialog Processing: A Summary 119
5 Parsing 121
5.1 Introduction 121
5.2 Overview of the Parser 123
5.3 The Parser Input Lattice 125
5.3.1 What is in a Word? 125
5.3.2 Uncertain Inputs 126
5.3.3 Arc Weights 127
5.3.4 Indexing Lattice Nodes 128
5.3.5 Inputs Used in the Experiments 129
5.4 Translation Grammars 130
5.5 Minimum Distance Translation 132
5.5.1 Distance Between Strings 132
5.5.2 A Precise Definition of What the MDT Algorithm Does 133
5.6 An Efficient Algorithm for MDT 135
5.6.1 Data Structures Used by MDT 135
5.6.2 The Outer Procedure 136
5.6.3 The Inner Procedure 137
5.6.4 An Important Optimization 141
5.7 Enhancements to the MDT Algorithm 142
5.7.1 Lexicon Dependent Deletion and Insertion Costs 142
5.7.2 Grammar Dependent Insertion Costs 143
5.8 Expectation Processing 144
5.8.1 Wildcards 144
5.8.2 Wildcard String Matching 145
5.8.3 Enhancements to the Minimum Matching String Algorithm 148
5.8.4 Wildcard String Matching Versus Unification 149
5.8.5 Expectation Based Hypothesis Selection 149
5.8.6 The Expectation Function 149
5.9 Computational Complexity 151
5.9.1 Notation 151
5.9.2 The Complexity of Input Lattice Node Renumbering 151
5.9.3 The Complexity of MDT 151
5.9.4 The Complexity of Expectation Processing 153
5.9.5 Overall Parser Complexity 153
6 System Implementation 155
6.1 Knowledge Representation 156
6.1.1 Prolog 156
6.1.2 GADL 156
6.1.3 snf 156
6.1.4 Sef 156
6.1.5 IPSIM 157
6.1.6 Discourse Structure 158
6.1.7 Axioms 159
6.1.8 Interfaces 160
6.2 Domain Processor 160
6.2.1 Debugging Methodology 161
6.2.2 Decision Making Strategies 165
6.2.3 Debugging Control Strategy Modifications for Dialog 170
6.3 Generation 178
6.3.1 Overview 178
6.3.2 Natural Language Directions for Locating Objects 178
6.4 Resource Utilization 179
7 Experimental Results 181
7.1 Hypotheses 181
7.2 Preliminary Results 181
7.3 Experimental Design 184
7.3.1 Overview 184
7.3.2 Problem Selection 185
7.3.3 Session 1 Procedure 186
7.3.4 Session 2 Procedure 190
7.3.5 Session 3 Procedure 192
7.4 Experimental Setup 192
7.5 Subject Pool 196
7.6 Cumulative Results 197
7.6.1 Basic System Performance 197
7.6.2 Parameter Definitions 197
7.6.3 Aggregate Results 199
7.6.4 Results as a Function of Problem 206
7.6.5 Statistical Analysis of the Results 210
7.7 Results from Subject Responses about System Usage 212
7.8 Conclusions 214
8 Performance of the Speech Recognizer and Parser 219
8.1 Preparation of the Data 219
8.2 Speech Recognizer Performance 221
8.2.1 Comparison to Other Speech Recognizers 223
8.2.2 Comparison to Humans 223
8.3 Parser Performance 224
8.4 Optimal Expectation Functions 227
9 Enhanced Dialog Processing: Verifying Doubtful Inputs 231
9.1 Handling Misunderstandings 231
9.2 Deciding When to Verify 232
9.2.1 Confidence Estimates 232
9.2.2 Selecting a Verification Threshold 237
9.3 Experimental Results 238
9.4 Summary of Verification Subdialogs 239
10 Extending the State of the Art 241
10.1 Continuing Work 241
10.1.1 Automatic Switching of Initiative 241
10.1.2 Exploiting Dialog Context in Response Generation 242
10.1.3 Miscommunication and Metadialog 244
10.1.4 Less Restricted Vocabulary 245
10.1.5 Evaluating Model Applicability 246
10.2 Where Do We Go Next? 247
A The Goal and Action Description Language 249
B User's Guide for the Interruptible Prolog SIMulator (IPSIM) 253
B.1 Introduction 253
B.2 Specifying Rules and Axioms for IPSIM 253
B.2.1 Sample Specification and Description 254
B.2.2 Additional Requirements for the Specification 254
B.2.3 The Special Clauses of IPSIM 256
B.3 Using IPSIM 257
B.3.1 The IPSIM Command Language 257
B.3.2 The Use of Knowledge 262
B.3.3 A Sample Control Scheme 262
B.4 Creating Dynamic Lists of Missing Axioms 262
B.4.1 The Defaults 262
B.4.2 Redefining axiom_need 262
B.5 Using IPSIM Calls within Theorem Specifications 264
C Obtaining the System Software Via Anonymous FTP 265
Bibliography 267
Index 279
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