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Carlos D. Martínez-Hinarejos, José-Miguel Benedí, Vicent Tamarit. Unsegmented Dialogue Act Annotation and Decoding with N-Gram Transducers. IEEE/ACM Transactions on Audio, Speech, and Language Processing, 2015. Vol. 23 (1), pp. 198-211.

Abstract: Most studies on dialogue corpora, as well as most dialogue systems, employ dialogue acts as the basic units for interpreting discourse structure, user input and system actions. The definition of the discourse structure and the dialogue strategy consequently require the tagging of dialogue corpora in terms of di- alogue acts. The tagging problem presents two basic variants: a batch variant (annotation of whole dialogues, in order to define dialogue strategy or study discourse structure) and an online variant (decoding of the dialogue act sequence of a given turn, in order to interpret user intentions). In the two variants is unusual having the segmentation of each turn into the dialogue meaningful units (segments) to which a dialogue act is assigned. In this paper we present the use of the N-Gram Transducer technique for tagging dialogues, without needing to provide a prior segmentation, in these two different variants (dialogue annotation and turn decoding). Experiments were performed in two corpora of different nature and results show that N-Gram Transducer models are suitable for these tasks and provide good performance. Index Terms: Dialogue annotation, n-gram transducer, spoken dialogue systems.