Sixth European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Budapest, Hungary
September 5-9, 1999

Knowledge Sources in Spoken Dialogue Systems

Nils Dahlbäck, Arne Jönsson

Department of Computer and Information Science, Linköping University, Sweden

We describe how the architecture of the modularized lin-lin dialogue manager can be augmented to handle thecases where the user's initial information request is underspecified, and where therefore the system needs to askthe user about the missing pieces of information. In manyexisting spoken dialogue systems this has been handledby a so-called task model, which has been embedded inthe dialogue move management. The present paper makestwo points. First, that the term 'task' is ambiguous, sinceit can refer to the user's underlying reasons for engagingin the dialogue, to the user's information seeking activity,and to the system's actions when preparing for providingthe user with an answer to the posed question. Second, weargue that this aspect of dialogue management should bemanaged by a separate module of the system, both becauseour previous work has shown that it is not necessary in allcases, and because it is conceptually different from general interaction management knowledge. For these reasonswe advocate using a separate knowledge module called anInformation Specification Form for managing these cases.

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Bibliographic reference.  Dahlbäck, Nils / Jönsson, Arne (1999): "Knowledge sources in spoken dialogue systems", In EUROSPEECH'99, 1523-1526.