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SceneMaker: Visual Authoring of Dialogue Processes

Gregor Mehlmann, Partick Gebhard, Birgit Endrass and Elisabeth André

SceneMaker: Visual Authoring of Dialogue Processes

in: Barcelona, Spain Proceedings of the 7th IJCAI Workshop on Knowledge and Reasoning in Practical Dialogue Systems on IJCAI 2011, pp. 24-36, July, 2012


In this paper, we present a visual authoring approach for the management of highly interactive, mixed-initiative, multi-party dialogues. Our approach enforces the separation of dialog-content and -logic and is based on a statechart language enfolding concepts for hierarchy, concurrency, variable scoping and runtime history. These concepts facilitate the modeling of dialogs for multiple virtual characters, autonomous and parallel behaviors, flexible interruption policies, context-sensitive interpretation of the user’s discourse acts and coherent resumptions of dialogues. It allows the real-time visualization and modification of the model to allow rapid prototyping and easy debugging. Our approach has successfully been used in applications and research projects as well as evaluated in field tests with non-expert authors.