Foundations of Collaborative Task-Oriented Dialogue: What’s in a Slot?

Philip Cohen


Abstract
In this paper, we examine the foundations of task-oriented dialogues, in which systems are requested to perform tasks for humans. We argue that the way this dialogue task has been framed has limited its applicability to processing simple requests with atomic “slot-fillers”. However, real task-oriented dialogues can contain more complex utterances that provide non-atomic constraints on slot values. For example, in response to the system’s question “What time do you want me to reserve the restaurant?”, a user should be able to say “the earliest time available,” which cannot be handled by classic “intent + slots” approaches that do not incorporate expressive logical form meaning representations. Furthermore, situations for which it would be desirable to build task-oriented dialogue systems, e.g., to engage in mixed-initiative, collaborative or multiparty dialogues, will require a more general approach. In order to overcome these limitations and to provide such an approach, we give a logical analysis of the “intent+slot” dialogue setting using a modal logic of intention and including a more expansive notion of “dialogue state”. Finally, we briefly discuss our program of research to build a next generation of plan-based dialogue systems that goes beyond “intent + slots”.
Anthology ID:
W19-5924
Volume:
Proceedings of the 20th Annual SIGdial Meeting on Discourse and Dialogue
Month:
September
Year:
2019
Address:
Stockholm, Sweden
Venue:
SIGDIAL
SIG:
SIGDIAL
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
198–209
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/W19-5924
DOI:
10.18653/v1/W19-5924
Bibkey:
Cite (ACL):
Philip Cohen. 2019. Foundations of Collaborative Task-Oriented Dialogue: What’s in a Slot?. In Proceedings of the 20th Annual SIGdial Meeting on Discourse and Dialogue, pages 198–209, Stockholm, Sweden. Association for Computational Linguistics.
Cite (Informal):
Foundations of Collaborative Task-Oriented Dialogue: What’s in a Slot? (Cohen, SIGDIAL 2019)
Copy Citation:
PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/W19-5924.pdf