Monitoring and Explaining Reasoning Processes in a Dialogue System’s Input Interpretation Step

Daniel Sonntag, Christian Husodo Schulz

In: Proceedings of the International Workshop on Explanation-aware Computing at IJCAI. International Workshop on Explanation-aware Computing (ExaCt) Barcelona Spain IJCAI 7/2011.


We implemented a generic speech-based dialogue shell that can be configured for and applied to domain-specific dialogue applications. A toolbox for ontology-based dialogue engineering provides a technical solution for the two challenges of engineering domain extensions for new question and answer possibilities and debugging functional modules. In this paper, we address the process of debugging and maintaining rule-based input interpretation modules. While supporting a rapid implementation cycle until the dialogue systems works robustly for a new domain (e.g., the dialogue-based retrieval of medical images), production rules for input interpretation have to be monitored, configured, and maintained. We implemented a special graphical user interface to monitor and explain reasoning processes for the input interpretation phase of multimodal dialogue systems. A particular challenge was the presentation of the software system's ontology-based interaction rules in a way that they were accessible to and editable for humans for maintenance, and, at the same time, allowed a real-time monitoring of their application in the running dialogue system.

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Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz
German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence