A number of different approaches have been applied to the treatment of errors in spoken dialogue systems, including careful design to prevent potential errors, methods for on-line error detection, and error recovery when errors have occurred and have been detected. The approach to error handling presented here is premised on the theory of grounding, in which it is assumed that errors cannot be avoided in spoken dialogue and that it is more useful to focus on methods for determining what information needs to be grounded within a dialogue and how this grounding should be achieved. An object-based architecture is presented that incorporates generic confirmation strategies in combination with domain-specific heuristics that together contribute to determining the system’s confirmation strategies when attempting to complete a transaction. The system makes use of a representation of the system’s information state as it conducts a transaction along with discourse pegs that are used to determine whether values have been sufficiently confirmed for a transaction to be concluded. An empirical evaluation of the system is presented along with a discussion of the advantages of the object-based approach for error handling.
- object-based dialogue management
- information state
- error handling