Modeling spoken decision support dialogue and optimization of its dialogue strategy

Teruhisa Misu, Komei Sugiura, Tatsuya Kawahara, Kiyonori Ohtake, Chiori Hori, Hideki Kashioka, Hisashi Kawai, Satoshi Nakamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


This article presents a user model for user simulation and a system state representation in spoken decision support dialogue systems. When selecting from a group of alternatives, users apply different decision-making criteria with different priorities. At the beginning of the dialogue, however, users often do not have a definite goal or criteria in which they place value, thus they can learn about new features while interacting with the system and accordingly create new criteria. In this article, we present a user model and dialogue state representation that accommodate these patterns by considering the user's knowledge and preferences. To estimate the parameters used in the user model, we implemented a trial sightseeing guidance system, collected dialogue data, and trained a user simulator. Since the user parameters are not observable from the system, the dialogue is modeled as a partially observable Markov decision process (POMDP), and a dialogue state representation was introduced based on the model. We then optimized its dialogue strategy so that users can make better choices. The dialogue strategy is evaluated using a user simulator trained from a large number of dialogues collected using a trial dialogue system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10
JournalACM Transactions on Speech and Language Processing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011 May
Externally publishedYes


  • Decision support systems
  • Dialoguemanagement
  • Reinforcement learning
  • Spoken dialogue systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Computational Mathematics


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