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A probabilistic framework for dialog simulation and optimal strategy learning

Abstract : The design of Spoken Dialog Systems cannot be considered as the simple combination of speech processing technologies. Indeed, speech-based interface design has been an expert job for a long time. It necessitates good skills in speech technologies and low-level programming. Moreover, rapid development and reusability of previously designed systems remains uneasy. This makes optimality and objective evaluation of design very difficult. The design process is therefore a cyclic process composed of prototype releases, user satisfaction surveys, bug reports and refinements. It is well known that human intervention for testing is time-consuming and above all very expensive. This is one of the reasons for the recent interest in dialog simulation for evaluation as well as for design automation and optimization. In this paper we expose a probabilistic framework for a realistic simulation of spoken dialogs in which the major components of a dialog system are modeled and parameterized thanks to independent data or expert knowledge. Especially, an Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) system model and a User Model (UM) have been developed. The ASR model, based on articulatory similarities in language models, provides task-adaptive performance prediction and Confidence Level (CL) distribution estimation. The user model relies on the Bayesian Networks (BN) paradigm and is used both for user behavior modeling and Natural Language Understanding (NLU) modeling. The complete simulation framework has been used to train a reinforcement-learning agent on two different tasks. These experiments helped to point out several potentially problematic dialog scenarios.
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Contributor : Sébastien van Luchene <>
Submitted on : Friday, January 18, 2008 - 4:10:37 PM
Last modification on : Monday, December 14, 2020 - 2:10:02 PM

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Olivier Pietquin, T. Dutoit. A probabilistic framework for dialog simulation and optimal strategy learning. IEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech and Language Processing, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2006, 14 (2), pp.589-599. ⟨10.1109/TSA.2005.855836⟩. ⟨hal-00207952⟩



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