System and user strategies to repair conversational breakdowns of spoken dialogue systems : a scoping review

Alghamdi, Essam and Halvey, Martin and Nicol, Emma; (2024) System and user strategies to repair conversational breakdowns of spoken dialogue systems : a scoping review. In: ACM Conversational User Interfaces 2024 (CUI '24). Association for Computing Machinery, LUX. ISBN 9798400705113 (

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Spoken Dialogue Systems (SDSs) are critical in facilitating natural and efficient human-machine interaction through speech. SDSs frequently encounter challenges in managing complex dialogues, resulting in communication breakdowns, which include misunder- standings— where the system misunderstands user input— and non-understandings— where the system fails to interpret the input at all. Strategies to repair these breakdowns have been investigated across multiple disciplines; despite this interest, the findings from these studies are inconsistent and hinder comparative analysis due to the use of diverse methodologies and terminologies. To address this gap, this scoping review systematically examines SDS and user repair strategies within a broad spectrum of literature. Based on 36 papers out of 818 found, we provide two comprehensive frameworks: one categorising SDS system-repair strategies into six distinct categories and the other user-repair strategies into five categories. Our analysis reveals a disparity in the literature’s focus on repair strategies, highlighting, in particular, the lack of research on less explored strategies, such as Information and Disclosure repair strategies, providing potential avenues for future research directions in this area.