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A Generative Model for User Simulation in a Spatial Navigation Domain

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

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 14th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics
Place of PublicationGothenburg, Sweden
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2014


We propose the use of a generative model to simulate user behaviour in a novel task-oriented dialog domain, where user goals are spatial routes across artificial landscapes. We show how to derive an efficient feature-based representation of spatial goals, admitting exact inference and generalising to new routes. The use of a generative model allows us to capture a range of plausible behaviour given the same underlying goal. We evaluate intrinsically using held-out probability and perplexity, and find a substantial reduction in uncertainty brought by our spatial representation. We evaluate extrinsically in a human judgement task and find that our model’s behaviour does not differ significantly from the behaviour of real users.

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