Are Interaction Patterns Helpful for Task-Agnostic Dementia Detection? An Empirical Exploration

Shahla Farzana, Natalie Parde


Abstract
Dementia often manifests in dialog through specific behaviors such as requesting clarification, communicating repetitive ideas, and stalling, prompting conversational partners to probe or otherwise attempt to elicit information. Dialog act (DA) sequences can have predictive power for dementia detection through their potential to capture these meaningful interaction patterns. However, most existing work in this space relies on content-dependent features, raising questions about their generalizability beyond small reference sets or across different cognitive tasks. In this paper, we adapt an existing DA annotation scheme for two different cognitive tasks present in a popular dementia detection dataset. We show that a DA tagging model leveraging neural sentence embeddings and other information from previous utterances and speaker tags achieves strong performance for both tasks. We also propose content-free interaction features and show that they yield high utility in distinguishing dementia and control subjects across different tasks. Our study provides a step toward better understanding how interaction patterns in spontaneous dialog affect cognitive modeling across different tasks, which carries implications for the design of non-invasive and low-cost cognitive health monitoring tools for use at scale.
Anthology ID:
2022.sigdial-1.18
Volume:
Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Special Interest Group on Discourse and Dialogue
Month:
September
Year:
2022
Address:
Edinburgh, UK
Venue:
SIGDIAL
SIG:
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
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Pages:
172–182
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/2022.sigdial-1.18
DOI:
Bibkey:
Cite (ACL):
Shahla Farzana and Natalie Parde. 2022. Are Interaction Patterns Helpful for Task-Agnostic Dementia Detection? An Empirical Exploration. In Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Special Interest Group on Discourse and Dialogue, pages 172–182, Edinburgh, UK. Association for Computational Linguistics.
Cite (Informal):
Are Interaction Patterns Helpful for Task-Agnostic Dementia Detection? An Empirical Exploration (Farzana & Parde, SIGDIAL 2022)
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PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/2022.sigdial-1.18.pdf
Video:
 https://youtu.be/7mJS9l1Oan8