TechTalks from event: NAACL 2015

4A: Dialogue and Spoken Language Processing

  • Semantic Grounding in Dialogue for Complex Problem Solving Authors: Xiaolong Li and Kristy Boyer
    Dialogue systems that support users in complex problem solving must interpret user utterances within the context of a dynamically changing, user-created problem solving artifact. This paper presents a novel approach to semantic grounding of noun phrases within tutorial dialogue for computer programming. Our approach performs joint segmentation and labeling of the noun phrases to link them to attributes of entities within the problem-solving environment. Evaluation results on a corpus of tutorial dialogue for Java programming demonstrate that a Conditional Random Field model performs well, achieving an accuracy of 89.3% for linking semantic segments to the correct entity attributes. This work is a step toward enabling dialogue systems to support users in increasingly complex problem-solving tasks.
  • Learning Knowledge Graphs for Question Answering through Conversational Dialog Authors: Ben Hixon, Peter Clark, Hannaneh Hajishirzi
    We describe how a question-answering system can learn about its domain from conversational dialogs. Our system learns to relate concepts in science questions to propositions in a fact corpus, stores new concepts and relations in a knowledge graph (KG), and uses the graph to solve questions. We are the first to acquire knowledge for question-answering from open, natural language dialogs without a fixed ontology or domain model that predetermines what users can say. Our relation-based strategies complete more successful dialogs than a query expansion baseline, our task-driven relations are more effective for solving science questions than relations from general knowledge sources, and our method is practical enough to generalize to other domains.
  • Sentence segmentation of aphasic speech Authors: Kathleen C. Fraser, Naama Ben-David, Graeme Hirst, Naida Graham, Elizabeth Rochon
    Automatic analysis of impaired speech for screening or diagnosis is a growing research field; however there are still many barriers to a fully automated approach. When automatic speech recognition is used to obtain the speech transcripts, sentence boundaries must be inserted before most measures of syntactic complexity can be computed. In this paper, we consider how language impairments can affect segmentation methods, and compare the results of computing syntactic complexity metrics on automatically and manually segmented transcripts. We find that the important boundary indicators and the resulting segmentation accuracy can vary depending on the type of impairment observed, but that results on patient data are generally similar to control data. We also find that a number of syntactic complexity metrics are robust to the types of segmentation errors that are typically made.