Resolution of Referential Ambiguity in Human-Robot Dialogue Using Dempster-Shafer Theoretic Pragmatics

Authors: Tom Williams, Matthias Scheutz

Robots designed to interact with humans in realistic environments must be able to handle uncertainty with respect to the identities and properties of the people, places, and things found in their environments. This problem is especially difficult as humans often refer to these entities using under-specified language. In such cases, robots must often generate clarification requests to determine which entities are being referred to by their interlocutors. In this paper, we show how a Dempster-Shafer (DS)-theoretic pragmatic reasoning component capable of generating requests to clarify pragmatic uncertainty can also generate requests to resolve referential uncertainty when integrated with a probabilistic reference resolution component.