Dialogue structure models : an engineering approach to machine analysis and generation of dialogue
The problem area addressed within this research is the processing and understanding of natural English dialogue by computer. The presented work fundamentally constitutes the development of a theory for modelling natural dialogue, and the practical implementation of that theory. There are two major aspects of consideration within the theory: the modelling of dialogue structure is balanced against certain individual factors. The structure of the dialogue is modelled via the mechanism of the Dialogue Structure Models and its constituent parts, accounting for situational context, participant motivation, participant role(s) and other contributory factors. The individual factors, on the other hand, are peculiar to the dialogue currently in progress, and cannot be pre-determined in the way that structure can. These factors include:1. The personal characteristics of the participants (their personalities, backgrounds, interests and belief systems); 2. The overall mood of the participant (how (s)he is feeling today; the emotional state of the participant); 3. Instantiation factors relating to the events and circumstances of the particular dialogue in progress. (For example, how a participant reacts intellectually or emotionally to what the other person has just said).A description of the implementation of this theory is presented, followed by a discussion of the testing techniques used to ensure that the original criteria for success have been met.