Uncertainty, Utility, and Misunderstanding: A Decision-Theoretic Perspective on Grounding in Conversational Systems
Stanford, CA 94305
Redmond, Washington 98052
Author email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Uncertainty plays a central role in the handling of misunderstanding
in dialog. People engaged in conversation typically take a sequence of
actions to establish and maintain mutual understanding-a process
referred to as grounding. We explore representations and control
strategies for grounding utterances founded on performing explicit
probabilistic inference about failures in communication. The methods
are informed by psychological studies and founded on principles of
decision making under uncertainty. We delineate four distinct levels
of analysis for representing uncertainty and describe a computational
framework for guiding action in an automated conversational system. We
demonstrate how the framework captures grounding behavior by
facilitating collaborative resolution of uncertainty as implemented in
a spoken interactive dialog prototype called the Bayesian
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Keywords: Bayesian user modeling, grounding, joint activity, conversational systems, dialog systems, computational linguistics.
In: AAAI Fall Symposium on Psychological Models of Communication in
Collaborative Systems, Cape Cod, MA. November 5-7, 1999.
E. Horvitz and T. Paek, A Computational Architecture for Conversation, Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on User Modeling, Banff, Canada, June 1999. New York: Springer Wien, pp. 201-210.
E. Horvitz. Uncertainty, Action, and Interaction: In Pursuit of Mixed-Initiative Computing, Intelligent Systems, Sept./ October Issue, IEEE Computer Society.