Section: New Results
Mutual Understanding in Dialogue as a Collaborative Process
In common human conversations or human-machine interactions, misunderstandings are often the main causes for dialogues to fail. A reason for that is probably that participants actually interpret their interlocutor's utterance from their own point of view without being able to appreciate whether their points of view diverge from each other. To prevent such phenomena to arise, one should consider that mutual understanding is a collaborative process achieved across the dialogue together with the goal of the dialogue itself. This theory has been elaborated by Herbert H. Clark and colleagues, and is called grounding . This analytic method does not focus on the way a task is achieved within a dialogue (how each utterance contributes to the common goal) but on how utterances give evidence that some previous utterance has been mutually understood.
Within the two last decades, the model of grounding has been applied, tested, formalised and sometimes implemented. Our working group aims to read those works in details and confront each other to discover their limits and how they can be improved.