SIGdial 2014

15th Annual SIGdial Meeting on Discourse and Dialogue

The Second Dialog State Tracking Challenge

Matthew Henderson, Blaise Thomson and Jason Williams
A spoken dialog system, while communicating with a user, must keep track of what the user wants from the system at each step. This process, termed dialog state tracking, is essential for a successful dialog system as it directly informs the system’s actions. The first Dialog State Tracking Challenge allowed for evaluation of different dialog state tracking techniques, providing common testbeds and evaluation suites. This paper presents a second challenge, which continues this tradition and introduces some additional features – a new domain, changing user goals and a richer dialog state. The challenge received 31 entries from 9 research groups. The results suggest that while large improvements on a competitive baseline are possible, trackers are still prone to degradation in mismatched conditions. An investigation into ensemble learning demonstrates the most accurate tracking can be achieved by combining multiple trackers.