From Argument Search to Argumentative Dialogue: A Topic-independent Approach to Argument Acquisition for Dialogue Systems

Niklas Rach, Carolin Schindler, Isabel Feustel, Johannes Daxenberger, Wolfgang Minker, Stefan Ultes


Abstract
Despite the remarkable progress in the field of computational argumentation, dialogue systems concerned with argumentative tasks often rely on structured knowledge about arguments and their relations. Since the manual acquisition of these argument structures is highly time-consuming, the corresponding systems are inflexible regarding the topics they can discuss. To address this issue, we propose a combination of argumentative dialogue systems with argument search technology that enables a system to discuss any topic on which the search engine is able to find suitable arguments. Our approach utilizes supervised learning-based relation classification to map the retrieved arguments into a general tree structure for use in dialogue systems. We evaluate the approach with a state of the art search engine and a recently introduced dialogue model in an extensive user study with respect to the dialogue coherence. The results vary between the investigated topics (and hence depend on the quality of the underlying data) but are in some instances surprisingly close to the results achieved with a manually annotated argument structure.
Anthology ID:
2021.sigdial-1.39
Volume:
Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Special Interest Group on Discourse and Dialogue
Month:
July
Year:
2021
Address:
Singapore and Online
Venue:
SIGDIAL
SIG:
SIGDIAL
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
368–379
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/2021.sigdial-1.39
DOI:
Bibkey:
Copy Citation:
PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/2021.sigdial-1.39.pdf
Video:
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r02BENY-Fu0