Marvin a conversational agent based interface for the study of information sciences
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Marvin - A Conversational Agent Based Interface for the Study of Information Sciences. N ives Mikelic Preradovic , Sanja Kisicek, Damir Boras University of Zagreb, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences , Department of Information Sciences

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Marvin - A Conversational Agent Based Interface for the Study of Information Sciences

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Marvin a conversational agent based interface for the study of information sciences

Marvin - A Conversational Agent Based Interface for the Study of Information Sciences

Nives Mikelic Preradovic, Sanja Kisicek, Damir Boras

University of Zagreb, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Department of Information Sciences

nmikelic@ffzg.hr, smatic@ffzg.hr, dboras@ffzg.hr


Outline

Outline

  • Who is Marvin?

  • Marvin’s knowledge base and reply structure

  • Evaluation

  • Future work


Who is marvin

Who is Marvin?


Who is marvin1

Who is Marvin?

  • Has a "brain the size of a planet" which he is seldom able to use

  • No task he could be given would occupy even the tiniest fraction of his vast intellect


Why marvin

Why Marvin?

  • Aim was to build a virtual character that:

    • Is capable of engaging our undergraduate students in a meaningful conversation

    • Has the ability to parse NLQ and, by referring to a knowledge base, generate NLA

    • Will increase the students' interest in the Study of Information Sciences, ease the search for particular information and boost satisfaction with the presentation of information

  • Aim was not to

    • design a tutor that would teach particular subject matter


Marvin s knowledge base

Marvin’s knowledge base

  • AIML: category (pattern,template, context: that, topic)

  • Reqursion:

    • Marvin produces the same reply to different query formulations that share the same or similar meaning (teach-lecture-instruct)

  • AIML templates activated by the appearance of a keyword anywhere in the input

    • Keywords: the most probable user's queries

  • Knowledge base


Marvin s reply

Marvin’s reply

  • Tries to boost communication with the user posing the questions

  • Topic change triggers the content of the reply

    • Marvin attempts to follow the normal flow and nature of the communication

  • Marvin’s replies are enhanced with comments designed to convince the user that Marvin is a student himself


Evaluation

Evaluation

  • The database was checked for accuracy, interpretation and relevance to the types and the level of questions being asked

  • 50 inputs and answers per evaluator / each evaluator spent 30 minutes on average chatting with Marvin

  • Two perspectives: competent information scientist / pretend bachelor student perspective

  • Limitations: multi clause units, exchanges that range over more than one turn


Evaluation1

Evaluation

  • the depth of knowledge too narrow to cope with open-ended conversations with humans

  • database should be improved with more factual world knowledge

    • Currently: no actual knowledge of what it is talking about, avoidance strategy

  • He or it?


Future work

Future work

  • Modify Marvin to take on the personality and knowledge base of the key information theorists

  • Sensitive to the knowledge levels of student users and opened to explanatory questions

  • Use Wikipedia information to build its conversations and offer links to articles in the field of IS


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