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Extra seminar: David Schlangen - Towards a Computational Model of Situated Dialogue


I will present recent work done in the Dialogue Systems Group at Bielefeld University on modelling situated dialogue. In our understanding of the term, situated dialogue is dialogue where the participants at least share a common timeline, that is, directly perceive the utterances of their partners, and are expected to react immediately. This covers for example telephone conversations and excludes email or text-chat exchanges, and it implies that processing must proceed incrementally and continuously. In a narrower understanding of the term, it is also taken to entail physical co-location, where the participants immediately perceive all actions of their interlocutors, and not just linguistic ones, and also perceive their shared surroundings. Our goal is to provide a computational, implemented model of the skills required to take part in situated dialogue both in the wider and the more narrow sense.

I will briefly introduce the "incremental units" model of dialogue processing (Schlangen & Skantze; EACL 2009, Dialogue & Discourse 2011) which we use as the basis for our work on situated dialogue. I will show how we used it to realise fast turn-taking in an implemented dialogue system (Skantze & Schlangen, EACL 2009). I will then discuss our work on statistical incremental language understanding, which brings in as an additional problems to tackle reference to objects in a shared space (Kennington & Schlangen; SIGdial 2012, Computer Speech & Language 2014), non-linguistic information about the speaker such as gaze and gesture (Kennington, Kousidis & Schlangen; SIGdial 2013, Coling 2014), and more recently, real-time computer-vision processing.

This work takes us a few small steps towards a more comprehensive model of situated dialogue. I will conclude by discussing some of the many extensions that are still required.

Date: 2014-09-26 13:15 - 15:00

Location: T116, Olof Wijksgatan 6


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