AAAI Publications, 2011 AAAI Fall Symposium Series

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Modeling Expert Effects and Common Ground Using Questions Under Discussion
Alex Djalali, David Clausen, Sven Lauer, Karl Schultz, Christopher Potts

Last modified: 2011-11-03


We present a graph-theoretic model of discourse based on the Questions Under Discussion (QUD) framework. Questions and assertions are treated as edges connecting discourse states in a rooted graph, modeling the introduction and resolution of various QUDs as paths through this graph. The amount of common ground presupposed by interlocutors at any given point in a discourse corresponds to graphical depth. We introduce a new task-oriented dialogue corpus and show that experts, presuming a richer common ground, initiate discourse at a deeper level than novices. The QUD-graph model thus enables us to quantify the experthood of a speaker relative to a fixed domain and to characterize the ways in which rich common ground facilitates more efficient communication.

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