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Module Selection: A new Task for Dialog Systems

Jan Nehring; Akhyar Ahmed; Lena A. Jäger
In: The 13th International Workshop on Spoken Dialogue Systems Technology. International Workshop on Spoken Dialogue Systems Technology (IWSDS-2023), February 21-24, Los Angeles, CA, USA, 2023.


Many different dialog systems exist, which usually cover limited domains. This paper examines the Modular Dialog System Framework to combine many conversational agents to create a unified, diverse dialog system. The Modular Dialog System treats the underlying conversational agents as black boxes and works with any dialog system without further adaption. It also works with commercial frameworks, such as Google Dialogflow or IBM Watson Assistant, in which the inner workings are unknown company secrets. We propose a new task, Module Selection, choosing a conversational agent for a user utterance. Also, we propose an evaluation methodology for Modular Dialog Systems. Using the three available commercial frameworks, Google Dialogflow, Rasa, and IBM Watson Assistant, we create a dataset and propose three models that serve as a strong baseline for future research in Module Selection. Also, we examine the performance difference between a Modular Dialog System and the same dialog system implement in a single, monolithic system. We publish our dataset and source codes as open source.