CH1: A Conversational System to Calculate Carbohydrates in a Meal

  • Bernardo MagniniEmail author
  • Vevake Balaraman
  • Mauro Dragoni
  • Marco Guerini
  • Simone Magnolini
  • Valerio Piccioni
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11298)


We present a conversational system that aims at calculating the amount of consumed carbohydrates in a meal by diabetic patients. Through a chat input, users can freely describe foods, which are first semantically interpreted and then matched against a nutritionist database for the final calculation of carbohydrates. Specific issues that have been addressed include: large-scale food recognition in Italian, without any restriction; interpretation of fuzzy quantities in relation to food (e.g. a portion of, a dish of, etc.); exploitation of dialogue strategies to revise system mis-interpretations and failures. CH1 integrates innovative neural approaches to language interpretation with rule-based approaches for ontology reasoning. In the paper we provide both experimental evaluations for the main components of the system, as well as qualitative user tests.


Conversational agents Utterance interpretation Neural models 



This work has been partially supported by the AdeptMind scholarship. The authors thank the anonymous reviewers for their help and suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernardo Magnini
    • 1
    Email author
  • Vevake Balaraman
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mauro Dragoni
    • 1
  • Marco Guerini
    • 1
  • Simone Magnolini
    • 1
    • 3
  • Valerio Piccioni
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Fondazione Bruno KesslerTrentoItaly
  2. 2.University of TrentoTrentoItaly
  3. 3.AdeptMind ScholarTorontoCanada

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