Jan Alexandersson (
Thu, 14 Jan 1999 15:32:10 +0100

Our apologies if you receive multiple copies of this message.


Call for Papers

IJCAI-99 Workshop NLP-2


Endorsed by SIGDIAL

Applications utilizing spoken natural language interaction are becoming
increasingly common, mainly due to the development of speech technology. In
addition to speech recognition and speech synthesis these systems require
dialogue capabilities that would allow users to be engaged in a natural and
efficient interaction.

For the sake of robustness and portability current practical dialogue systems
tend to rely on simple models for dialogue management (e.g. state transition
diagrams or dialogue grammars) and simple representations (if any) of domain or
task knowledge (e.g. frames) and for certain applications, such as information
retrieval from a database, these models actually appear to be sufficient. On
the other hand, dialogue models developed within AI tend to emphasize the
relation between utterances and speakers' goals and plans, the importance of
being able to reason about other agents' beliefs and intentions, and the need
for domain knowledge and discourse representation for resolving anaphoric and
deictic references. Somewhere in between we also find proposals that either
augment the simpler dialogue models with generic and specific domain knowledge,
or restrict the role of plan inference to specific situations.

The workshop aims at studying the need for knowledge and reasoning in dialogue
systems from theoretical and practical perspectives. Besides the innovative
aspect of research, an emphasis is also laid on the importance of implemented
dialogue systems as test-beds for evaluating the usefulness of theories and
ideas, and on improvements in practical system abilities supporting a more
natural and efficient interaction.

We primarily seek contributions which discuss one or more of the following

- - What is the relation between different proposed knowledge sources,
such as discourse models, task models, domain models, conceptual models
and user models?

- - How are such models integrated and coordinated?

- - What are their roles in dialogue systems and how can they improve
the analysis/generation of user/system utterances?

- - What types of knowledge and reasoning is useful for various kinds of
applications and situations?

- - How can domain models and discourse models be used to handle focus
and topic shifts? Do the models support topic associations in free

- - How dependent is the system's functioning on a particular domain
model? Can modularity of a system be supported if its domain model
is changed to a different one?

- - Can domain models be automatically built? How can empirical methods
be used in building domain models?

- - How can we evaluate domain models and their importance to the
dialogue systems?


The workshop will be kept small, with a maximum of 40 participants. Preference
will be given to active participants selected on the basis of their submitted

According to IJCAI rules, all workshop attendees must register for the main

Workshop format

Ample time is allowed for commenting on the papers and open group discussion,
thus ensuring time for discussions that go beyond ordinary conference style
commenting. The workshop is intended to be a genuinely interactive event and a
forum where new ideas and insights can take form via the collaboration of
experts with diverse backgrounds. Demonstration of software could be organised
as part of the main IJCAI conference.

Program comittee

Masahiro Araki, Kyoto University, Japan
Rolf Carlson, KTH, Sweden
Koiti Hasida, ETL, Japan
Diane Litman, AT&T, USA
Susan McRoy, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA
Massimo Poesio, University of Edinburgh, UK
Mieke Rats, Compuleer, The Netherlands
Norbert Reithinger, DFKI, Germany
David Sadek, France Telecom, France
David Traum, University of Maryland, USA
Ingrid Zukerman, Monash University, Australia


Potential participants are invited to submit extended abstracts on the topics
outlined above. Submissions should be no longer than 6 (six) pages exclusive of
references, single spaced, and be in line with the IJCAI-style sheet,
obtainable from

Electronic submissions (in postscript format) should be sent to Jan
Alexandersson at:

Alternatively, three hard copies can be mailed to the corresponding
address below.

Jan Alexandersson
Stuhlsatzenhausweg 3
D-66123 Saarbruecken

The accepted papers will be published in the workshop proceedings which will be
distributed to each participant. Further publication channels will be explored
and decided at the workshop.

Important dates

Electronic submission deadline: 1 March, 1999
Paper submission deadline: 3 March, 1999
Notification of acceptance: 23 April, 1999
Audio-visual requirements for accepted papers: 30 April 1999
Camera-ready paper for the workshop notes: 21 May, 1999
Workshop: 2 August, 1999

Organizing Committee

Lars Ahrenberg (Co-chair)
Department of Computer and Information Science
Link"oping University
S-581 83 Link"oping, Sweden
tel: +46 13 282422
fax: +46 13 142231

Jan Alexandersson (Chair)
German Research Institute of Computer Science, DFKI GmbH
Stuhlsatzenhausweg 3
66 123 Saarbr"ucken
tel: +49-681-3025347
fax: +49-681-3025341

Kristiina Jokinen (Co-chair)
ATR Interpreting Telecommunications Research Laboratories
2-2 Hikaridai, Seika-cho, Soraku-gun
Kyoto 619-0288 Japan
tel: +81-774-95-1342
fax: +81-774-95-1308

Arne J"onsson (Co-chair)
Department of Computer and Information Science
Link"oping University
S-581 83 Link"oping, Sweden
tel: +46 13 281717
fax: +46 13 142231

Further information

Should you have any questions or need additional information on the workshop,
please contact any of the organizing committee members by e-mail or at the
addresses above.

Further information on the IJCAI-99 conference, including updated information
on hotel and travel information, can be obtained from the IJCAI home page at

Updated information on this workshop and the final papers will be made
available via the workshop home page: