SIGdial 2014

15th Annual SIGdial Meeting on Discourse and Dialogue

Web-style Ranking and SLU Combination for Dialog State tracking

Jason D Williams
In spoken dialog systems, statistical state tracking aims to improve robustness to speech recognition errors by tracking a posterior distribution over hidden dialog states. This paper introduces two novel methods for this task. First, we explain how state tracking is structurally similar to web-style ranking, enabling mature, powerful ranking algorithms to be applied. Second, we show how to use multiple spoken language understanding engines (SLUs) in state tracking — multiple SLUs can expand the set of dialog states being tracked, and give more information about each, thereby increasing both recall and precision of state tracking. We evaluate on the second Dialog State Tracking Challenge; together these two techniques yield highest accuracy in 2 of 3 tasks, including the most difficult and general task.