Recovering from non-understanding errors in a conversational system

Hednerson Matthew, Colin Matheson, Jon Oberlander

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


Spoken dialogue systems can encounter different types of errors, including nonunderstanding errors where the system recognises that the user has spoken, but does not understand the utterance. Strategies for dealing with this kind of error have been proposed and tested in the context of goal-driven dialogue systems, for example by Bohus with a system which helps reserve
conference rooms (Bohus and Rudnicky, 2005). However there has been little
work on possible strategies in more conversational settings where the dialogue has more open-ended intentions. This paper looks at recovery from non-understanding errors in the context of a robot tourguide, and tests the strategies in a user trial. The results suggest that it is beneficial for user
enjoyment to use strategies which attempt to move the dialogue on, rather than getting caught up in the error by asking users to repeat themselves.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SemDial 2012 (SeineDial)
Subtitle of host publicationThe 16th Workshop on the Semantics and Pragmatics of Dialogue
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

ISSN (Print)2308-2275


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