6th SIGdial Workshop on Discourse and Dialogue

Lisbon, Portugal
September 2-3, 2005

A Hybrid Model for Tutorial Dialogs

Helmut Horacek (1), Magdalena Wolska (2)

(1) Fachrichtung Informatik; (2) Fachrichtung Allgemeine Linguistik, Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken, Germany

Until recently, rigid and sometimes cumbersome structures, which underly dialog patterns considered manageable for achieving a given task in a controlled manner, proved to be a serious weakness of interactive systems. Through the introduction of the information state as a representation to control the evolving state of a dialog, substantial improvements were obtained, with elaborations made for information-seeking and task-oriented dialogs. For handling tutorial dialogs, more rigid schemas are still in frequent use, due to the different requirements for this genre, which include more freedom on behalf of the human conversant due to limited pressure to understand a student's dialog contributions in full detail. In order to enable more exible dialogs that also do justice to particularities of tutorial issues, we propose a mixed automaton- and information-state based model of dialogs. Capabilities of this model include elaborations to handle multiple task contributions in one turn, and abstractions from domainand task-specific reasoning. A consequence of this design is the concentration on issues related to dialog proper, which increases the system's portability, a burning issue in the area of tutorial systems.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Horacek, Helmut / Wolska, Magdalena (2005): "A hybrid model for tutorial dialogs", In SIGdial6-2005, 190-199.