What do We Know about Conversation Participants: Experiments on Conversation Entailment

Chen Zhang and Joyce Y. Chai

SIGDIAL Workshop on Discourse and Dialogue (SIGDIAL 2009)
Queen Mary University of London, September 11-12, 2009


Given the increasing amount of conversation data, techniques to automatically acquire information about conversation participants become important. Towards this goal, we investigate the problem of conversation entailment, a task that determines whether a given conversation discourse entails a hypothesis about the participants. This paper describes the challenges related to conversation entailment based on our collected data and presents a probabilistic framework that incorporates conversation context in entailment prediction. Our preliminary experimental results have shown that conversation context, in particular dialogue act, plays an important role in conversation entailment.