Strategic Dialogue Management via Deep Reinforcement Learning

Heriberto Cuayahuitl, Simon Keizer, Oliver Lemon

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Artificially intelligent agents equipped with strategic skills that can negotiate during their interactions with other natural or artificial agents are still underdeveloped. This paper describes a successful application of Deep Reinforcement Learning (DRL) for training intelligent agents with strategic conversational skills, in a situated dialogue setting. Previous studies have modelled the behaviour of strategic agents using supervised learning and traditional reinforcement learning techniques, the latter using tabular representations or learning with linear function approximation. In this study, we apply DRL with a high-dimensional state space to the strategic board game of Settlers of Catan---where players can offer resources in exchange for others and they can also reply to offers made by other players. Our experimental results report that the DRL-based learnt policies significantly outperformed several baselines including random, rule-based, and supervised-based behaviours. The DRL-based policy has a 53% win rate versus 3 automated players (`bots'), whereas a supervised player trained on a dialogue corpus in this setting achieved only 27%, versus the same 3 bots. This result supports the claim that DRL is a promising framework for training dialogue systems, and strategic agents with negotiation abilities.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015
EventNIPS'15 Workshop on Deep Reinforcement Learning - Montreal, Canada
Duration: 11 Dec 201511 Dec 2015


ConferenceNIPS'15 Workshop on Deep Reinforcement Learning

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  • Datasets

    Strategic Dialogue Management via Deep Reinforcement Learning

    Lemon, O. (Data Manager) & Cuayahuitl, H. (Creator), Heriot-Watt University, 4 Feb 2016


    Cite this

    Cuayahuitl, H., Keizer, S., & Lemon, O. (2015). Strategic Dialogue Management via Deep Reinforcement Learning. Paper presented at NIPS'15 Workshop on Deep Reinforcement Learning, Montreal, Canada.