The Association Between Subject Matter and Discourse Segmentation

Susan Haller and Timothy Fossum, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, USA

We present an empirical study of the relationship between subject matter and the perception of discourse segment boundaries in dialogue. In this study, we presented subjects with dialogues that had the same discourse structure, instantiated with content from different domains. They were asked to note wherethese dialogues started to digress. Our results indicate that there is a significant association between dialogue subject matter and subjects’ perceptions of discourse segment boundaries. These results have implications for the design of interactive systems.


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