Separating Representation, Reasoning, and Implementation for Interaction Management: Lessons from Automated Planning

Mary Ellen Foster*, Ronald P. A. Petrick

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Citations (Scopus)


Numerous toolkits are available for developing speech-based dialogue systems. We survey a range of currently available toolkits, highlighting the different facilities provided by each. Most of these toolkits include not only a method for representing states and actions, but also a mechanism for reasoning about and selecting the actions, often combined with a technical framework designed to simplify the task of creating end-to-end systems. This near-universal tight coupling of representation, reasoning, and implementation in a single toolkit makes it difficult both to compare different approaches to dialogue system design, as well as to analyse the properties of individual techniques. We contrast this situation with the state of the art in a related research area—automated planning—where a set of common representations have been defined and are widely used to enable direct comparison of different reasoning approaches. We argue that adopting a similar separation would greatly benefit the dialogue research community.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDialogues with Social Robots
Subtitle of host publicationEnablements, Analyses, and Evaluation
EditorsKristiina Jokinen, Graham Wilcock
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9789811025853
ISBN (Print)9789811025846
Publication statusPublished - 25 Dec 2016

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Electrical Engineering
PublisherSpringer Singapore
ISSN (Print)1876-1100
ISSN (Electronic)1876-1119


  • Automated planning
  • Interaction management
  • Representation and reasoning
  • Systems integration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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