15th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

September 14-18, 2014

Incremental On-Line Adaptation of POMDP-Based Dialogue Managers to Extended Domains

M. Gašić, Dongho Kim, Pirros Tsiakoulis, Catherine Breslin, Matthew Henderson, M. Szummer, B. Thomson, Steve Young

University of Cambridge, UK

An important property of open domain spoken dialogue systems is their ability to deal with a set of new, previously unseen, concepts introduced in the conversation. The dialogue manager must then quickly learn how to talk about the new concepts using its knowledge of the existing concepts. It has previously been shown that a single new concept could be accommodated by mapping the kernel function of a Gaussian process to incorporate an additional concept into the domain of a statistical dialogue manager. Here we present an incremental scheme which enables the domain of a dialogue manager to be repeatedly extended by recursively specifying priors in Gaussian processes. We show that it is possible to effectively double the number of concepts understood by a system providing restaurant information using only 1000 adaptation dialogues with real users.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Gašić, M. / Kim, Dongho / Tsiakoulis, Pirros / Breslin, Catherine / Henderson, Matthew / Szummer, M. / Thomson, B. / Young, Steve (2014): "Incremental on-line adaptation of POMDP-based dialogue managers to extended domains", In INTERSPEECH-2014, 140-144.