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Spoken Natural Language Dialog SystemsA Practical Approach$
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Ronnie W. Smith and D. Richard Hipp

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780195091878

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195091878.001.0001

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Performance of the Speech Recognizer and Parser

Performance of the Speech Recognizer and Parser

(p.241) Chapter 10 Performance of the Speech Recognizer and Parser
Spoken Natural Language Dialog Systems

Ronnie W. Smith

D. Richard Hipp

Oxford University Press

This book has presented a computational model for integrated dialog processing. The primary contributions of this research follow. • A mechanism (the Missing Axiom Theory) for integrating subtheories that each address an independently studied subproblem of dialog processing (i.e. interactive task processing, the role of language, user modeling, and exploiting dialog expectation for contextual interpretation and plan recognition). • A computational theory for variable initiative behavior that enables a system to vary its responses at any given moment according to its level of initiative. • Detailed experimental results from the usage of a spoken natural language dialog system that illustrate the viability of the theory and identify behavioral differences of users as a function of their experience and initiative level. This chapter provides a concluding critique, which identifies areas of ongoing work and offers some advice for readers interested in developing their own spoken natural language dialog systems. This section describes important issues we did not successfully address in this research because either (1) we studied the problem but do not as yet have a satisfactory answer; or (2) it was not necessary to investigate the problem for the current system. Regardless of the reason, incorporating solutions to these problems is needed to strengthen the overall model. In section 4.7.3 we have already discussed the difficulties in determining when and how to change the level of initiative during a dialog as well as the problems in maintaining coherence when such a change occurs. Ongoing work in this area is being conducted by Guinn [Gui93]. His model for setting the initiative is based on the idea of “evaluating which participant is better capable of directing the solution of a goal by an examination of the user models of the two participants.” He provides a formula for estimating the competence of a dialog participant based on a probabilistic model of the participant’s knowledge about the domain. Using this formula, Guinn has conducted extensive experimental simulations testing four different methods of selecting initiative.

Keywords:   Computer-human interaction, DECtalk, Ellipsis, Human-computer interaction, MINDS, Metadialog, Non-verbal communication, Pronoun referents, Speech acts, User inferences

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