Conclusions and Future Directions
We have presented a novel architecture integrating domain-level reasoning with dialogue management in spoken language dialogue systems. The approach consists of an adaptation and extension of the conventional SLDS architecture in terms of a dialogue manager that takes advantage of a proposed interactive reasoning engine. The task of the reasoner is to process the domain-level information in a requirements-inferences approach. This means that with regard to the domain level the interaction between the user and system is characterised by the user asserting or retracting requirements and the system providing inferences. By relying on this approach, various dialogue activities can be realised, such as hypothetical reasoning and conflict resolution. In particular, both of these activities correspond to choosing adequate sets of user requirements. Using our approach the dialogue manager is able to present inferences and relate them to the particular user requirements the inference is based on. Thus, the basis for an explanation and interactive conflict resolution is provided. We argue that these functionalities should be an essential part of a flexible and user-friendly SLDS. Since the reasoning engine manages the domain-level information, it can also be considered an interface between the dialogue manager and application domain functionality.
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