City University of Hong Kong Dep
Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics
The Halliday Centre for Intelligent Applications of Language Studies
Multidimensional Dialogue Analysis
Prof. Harry Bunt
Professor of Language and Information Science,
Tilburg University, the Netherlands
Date: 16 Jun 2008, Monday
Time: 4:30pm - 6:00pm
Venue: B7603, (Lift 3, 7/F, Blue Zone), Academic Building, CityU
In this talk I will present a multidimensional approach to the study of dialogue and its computational modelling. By a multidimensional approach is meant that a dialogue is viewed as the combined interactive activity of two (or more) participants who in their communicative behaviour are paying attention to several independent aspects or "dimensions" of interaction, including not only the performance of some activity that motivates the dialogue, but also communicative feedback (feedback giving and feedback elicitation), turn management, time management, and other aspects of interaction management, as well as the management of social obligations like introducing oneself, thanking and apologizing, and opening and closing the dialogue.
I will argue that a multidimensional approach is beneficial both for the segmentation of dialogue into meaningful units, for the characterization of the communicative functions of dialogue utterances, and for the generation of dialogue acts by a dialogue system. I will summarize the particular multidimensional theoretical framework that has been developed at Tilburg University, called Dynamic Interpretation Theory (DIT), and I will present the taxonomy of communicative functions that has been designed within this framework. I will show some results on the use of this taxonomy in manual dialogue annotation, in automatic dialogue segmentation and dialogue act recognition, and in the design of a dialogue management module in a spoken dialogue system. In particular, I will show that the use of multiple dimensions in distinguishing and annotating functional units in dialogue not only supports a more accurate analysis of human communication, but can also help to solve some notorious problems concerning the segmentation of dialogue into meaningful parts.
Harry Bunt is professor of Language and Information Science at Tilburg University, the Netherlands, and Head of the Department of Communication and Information Sciences in the Faculty of Humanities. He was programme director of the Dutch national research programme 'Human-Computer Communication Using Natural Language', director of the inter-university research programme 'Dialogue Management and Knowledge Acquisition', and adviser of the German Ministry of Research and Technology for language technology. He is chairman of the ACL Special Interest Group in Parsing, secretary of the ACL Special Interest Group in Computational Semantics (SIGSEM), chairman of the SIGSEM Working Group on the Representation of Multimodal Semantic Information, and member of the Board of the Dutch National Graduate School in Logic, and secretary of the Dutch Organisation for Language and Speech Technology. He is also chairman of the ISO expert group on semantic content, co-project leader of the project on the standardization of temporal information annotation, and project leader of the project on developing standards for dialogue annotation. He has published and edited a number of books, including 'Computing Meaning, Volumes 1-3' (1999, 2002 and 2007), 'New Developments in Parsing Technology' (2004), 'Cooperative Multimodal Communication' (2001), 'Abduction, Belief and Context in Dialogue Studies in Computational Pragmatics' (2000), 'Advances in Probabilistic and Other Parsing Technologies' (2000), 'Multimodal Human-Computer Interaction' (1998) and 'Mass Terms and Model-Theoretic Semantics' (1985).
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