A Reactive Approach to Explanation

Johanna D. Moore, William R. Swartout

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

Explanation is an interactive process, requiring a dialogue between advice-giver and advice-seeker. Yet current expert systems cannot participate in a dialogue with users. In particular these systems cannot clarify misunderstood explanations, elaborate on previous explanations, or respond to follow-up questions in the context of the on-going dialogue. In this paper, we describe a reactive approach to explanation - one that can participate in an on-going dialogue and employs feedback from the user to guide subsequent explanations. Our system plans explanations from a rich set of explanation strategies, recording the system's discourse goals, the plans used to achieve them, and any assumptions made while planning a response. This record provides the dialogue context the system needs to respond appropriately to the user's feedback. We illustrate our approach with examples of disambiguating a follow-up question and producing a clarifying elaboration.
in response to a misunderstood explanation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 11th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence. Detroit, MI, USA, August 1989
PublisherMorgan Kaufmann
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)1-55860-094-9
Publication statusPublished - 1989


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