LINGUIST List 16.543

Wed Feb 23 2005

Diss: Comp Ling/Pragmatics: Jokinen: 'Response ...'

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        1.    Kristiina Jokinen, Response Planning in Information-Seeking Dialogues

Message 1: Response Planning in Information-Seeking Dialogues

Date: 22-Feb-2005
From: Kristiina Jokinen <>
Subject: Response Planning in Information-Seeking Dialogues

Institution: University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology
Program: Computational Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 1994

Author: Kristiina Jokinen

Dissertation Title: Response Planning in Information-Seeking Dialogues

Dissertation URL:

Linguistic Field(s): Computational Linguistics
                            Discourse Analysis

Dissertation Director:
Jens Allwood
William J Black
Jun-ichi Tsujii

Dissertation Abstract:

The thesis specifies requirements for robust, cooperative and coherent
dialogue systems and advocates a new approach, Constructive Dialogue
Management. A prototype of a system capable of dealing with the
planning of system reponses in factual information seeking dialogues
is presented.

Constructive Dialogue Management is based on the theoretical
foundation of Communicative Activity Analysis (CAA), a pragmatic
theory of communication developed by Jens Allwood, and on the
empirical experience gained in the PLUS project which aimed to improve
robustness in dialogue systems by a pragmatics-based approach.

In CAA, communication is regarded as cooperative activity between
rational agents, constrained by the requirements of ideal cooperation:
the communicators have a joint purpose, they obey communicative
obligations by showing cognitive and ethical consideration in their
contributions and they trust the partner to behave in a rational way.

In Constructive Dialogue Management, the use of contextual knowledge
is widened to include the enablements and requirements for
communication. As a result, the negotiative nature of dialogues can be
managed locally, and both predefined dialogue grammar and speech-act
classification can be abandoned. Furthermore, by refining the goal
with the help of communicative knowledge about ideal cooperation and
rational activity, boundary problems between planning and realisation
can be overcome.

Within this framework, solutions to two significant subproblems of
response planning are presented: how to guarantee thematic coherence
with respect to the preceding context, and how to combine appropriate
explicitness with elliptical generation based on the communicative
principles of Constructive Dialogue Management.

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