Advances in Agent Communication

Volume 2922 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 310-328

Concepts of Optimal Utterance in Dialogue: Selection and Complexity

  • Paul E. DunneAffiliated withDept. of Computer Science, University of Liverpool
  • , Peter McBurneyAffiliated withDept. of Computer Science, University of Liverpool

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Dialogue protocols have been the subject of considerable attention with respect to their potential applications in multiagent system environments. Formalisations of such protocols define classes of dialogue locutions, concepts of a dialogue state, and rules under which a dialogue proceeds. One important consideration in implementing a protocol concerns the criteria an agent should apply in choosing which utterance will constitute its next contribution: ideally, an agent should select a locution that (by some measure) optimises the outcome. The precise interpretation of optimise may vary greatly depending on the nature and intent of a dialogue area. One option is to choose the locution that results in a minimal length debate. We present a formal setting for considering the problem of deciding if a particular utterance is optimal in this sense and show that this decision problem is both np–hard and co-np–hard.