The Information State Approach to Dialogue Management: Theory and Implementation

Robin Cooper and David Traum
Section: Language and Computation
Level: Advanced


The EU project TRINDI (Task Oriented Instructional Dialogue) has developed an approach to formalising computational theories of dialogue processing using information state update. The approach leads to straightforward implementation of dialogue management models based on these theories making it possible to experiment with different kinds of information state and update rules and enabling the rapid prototyping of systems. To this end the project has developed a toolkit called TRINDIKIT and a number of implementations to illustrate both the kit and theories of dialogue processing. The project has resulted in a book manuscript which will be used as the textbook in the course. We will give an overview of the general approach as well as presentations of the information state theories we have investigated and systems we have implemented. If feasible, we would like to give some hands-on experience in using the TRINDIKIT. The following lectures are planned:

  1. The information state approach to dialogue management and the TRINDIKIT
  2. GoDiS: a dialogue system based on questions under discussion. Applications to interactive text.
  3. The Poesio-Traum theory of dialogue and the EDIS implementation.
  4. MIDAS: a dialogue system based on DRT which exploits first-order theorem proving.
  5. Conversational Game Theory. Robust semantic processing. (Two implementations.)

More information relating to the course can be found on the TRINDI webpage.


Basic knowledge of computational linguistics, computation, and computational semantics (including AVMs, logical inference, DRT and pragmatics). Some previous knowledge of dialogue management would be helpful.




Department of Linguistics
University of Gothenburg
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