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OntoVPA—An Ontology-Based Dialogue Management System for Virtual Personal Assistants

Part of the Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering book series (LNEE,volume 510)


Dialogue management (DM) is a difficult problem. We present OntoVPA, an Ontology-Based Dialogue Management System (DMS) for Virtual Personal Assistants (VPAs). The features of OntoVPA are offered as generic solutions to core DM problems, such as dialogue state tracking, anaphora and coreference resolution, etc. To the best of our knowledge, OntoVPA is the first commercially available, fully implemented DMS that employs ontologies and ontology-based rules for (a) domain model representation and reasoning, (b) dialogue representation and state tracking, and (c) response generation. OntoVPA is a declarative, knowledge-based system which can be customized to a new VPA domain by modifying and exchanging ontologies and rule bases, with very little to no conventional programming required.


  • Dialogue management systems
  • Virtual Personal Assistants
  • Ontology
  • Knowledge representation and reasoning for dialogue management
  • Web Ontology Language
  • OWL
  • Description logics

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Wessel, M., Acharya, G., Carpenter, J., Yin, M. (2019). OntoVPA—An Ontology-Based Dialogue Management System for Virtual Personal Assistants. In: Eskenazi, M., Devillers, L., Mariani, J. (eds) Advanced Social Interaction with Agents . Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering, vol 510. Springer, Cham.

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