Infrastructure for authoring and experimenting with natural language dialogue in tutoring systems and learning research

Most tutorial dialogue systems represent development efforts of many man-years.  TuTalk is a dialogue system building toolkit for the rapid development of running dialogue systems to support investigating the effective use of dialogue as a learning intervention as well as application of tutorial dialogue systems by those who are not dialogue system researchers. As such it is not intended to be a general dialogue system development tool and its capabilities are constrained by our goal of supporting rapid development of tutorial dialogue systems.

TuTalk provides 

  • multiple methods of authoring dialogues that include 
    • an authoring interface (a GUI) that interacts directly with the dialogue system server for testing or 
    • an authoring language (called sc) that can be created using any text editor and manually uploaded to the dialogue system server for testing
  • a dialogue system server that supports/provides,
    • testing and fielding of the authored dialogues 
    • simultaneous dialogues with students
    • multiple experiments/courses 
    • logging of all interactions with students
    • customizable or replaceable modules for language understanding and generation
    • advice and examples of how to integrate the dialogue system with other learning environments
Users provide
  • content knowledge and pedagogical strategies by authoring dialogues directly in the human language of their choice (e.g. English, Japanese)
  • customized interfaces to TuTalk for their students
Acknowledgements
  • The authoring interface (a GUI) was developed by Carnegie Mellon University (application freely available)
  • The authoring language, sc, and dialogue system server were developed by the University of Pittsburgh (source code freely available)