Cost-level integration of statistical and rule-based dialog managers

Shinji Watanabe*, John R. Hershey, Tim K. Marks, Youichi Fujii, Yusuke Koji

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Statistical dialog managers can potentially make more robust decisions than their rule-based counterparts, because they can account for uncertainties due to errors in speech recognition and natural language understanding. In practice, however, statistical dialog managers can be difficult to use, as they may require a large number of parameters to be inferred from limited data. Consequently, hand-crafted rule based systems are still effective for practical use. This paper proposes a method to integrate an existing rule-based dialog manager with a statistical dialog manager based on Bayes decision theory, by incorporating the rule-based dialog manager into the cost function of the statistical dialog manager. The cost function has two parts: An efficiency cost that penalizes inefficient actions, as in conventional statistical dialog approaches, and a regularization cost that slightly penalizes system actions that differ from those that would be chosen by the rule-based system. Our experiments, which use a destination-setting task in an automobile dialog scenario, demonstrate that the integrated system produces system actions that are similar to those of an existing rule-based dialog manager but enable task completion using fewer turns than the rule-based system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-327
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, INTERSPEECH
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event15th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association: Celebrating the Diversity of Spoken Languages, INTERSPEECH 2014 - Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 2014 Sept 142014 Sept 18


  • Cost-level integration
  • Goal estimation
  • Rule based system
  • Spoken dialog system
  • Statistical dialog manager

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Signal Processing
  • Software
  • Modelling and Simulation


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