Context-Based Speech Act Classification in Intelligent Tutoring Systems

Borhan Samei, Haiying Li, Fazel Keshtkar, Vasile Rus, Arthur C. Graesser

In intelligent tutoring systems with natural language dialogue, speech act classification, the task of detecting learners’ intentions, informs the system’s response mechanism. In this paper, we propose supervised machine learning models for speech act classification in the context of an online collaborative learning game environment. We explore the role of context (i.e. speech acts of previous utterances) for speech act classification. We compare speech act classification models trained and tested with contextual and non-contextual features (contents of the current utterance). The accuracy of the proposed models is high. A surprising finding is the modest role of context in automatically predicting the speech acts.

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