Sixth European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Budapest, Hungary
September 5-9, 1999

To Believe is to Understand

Helen M. Meng, Wai Lam, Carmen Wai

Human-Computer Communications Laboratory, Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong

This paper is about language understanding using Belief Networks. Language understanding is a key technology in human-computer conversational systems. These systems often need to handle information-seeking queries from the user regarding a restricted domain. We devised a method for identifying the userís communicative goal(s) out of a finite set of within-domain goals. The problem is formulated as N binary decisions, each performed by a Belief Network. This formulation allows for the identification of queries with multiple goals, as well as queries with out-of-domain goals. Experiments with the ATIS corpus shows that around 90% of the user queries are correctly handled via goal classification, rejection or multiple goal identification.

Full Paper (PDF)

Bibliographic reference.  Meng, Helen M. / Lam, Wai / Wai, Carmen (1999): "To believe is to understand", In EUROSPEECH'99, 2015-2018.