Using Misunderstanding and Discussion in Dialog as a Knowledge Acquisition or Enhancement Procecss

Using Misunderstanding and Discussion in Dialog as a Knowledge Acquisition or Enhancement Procecss

Mehdi Yousfi-Monod (University of Montpellier, France)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-144-5.ch004


The work described in this chapter tackles learning and communication between cognitive artificial agents and trying to meet the following issue: Is it possible to find an equivalency between a communicative process and a learning process, to model and implement communication and learning as dual aspects of the same cognitive mechanism? Therefore, focus is on dialog as the only way for agents to acquire and revise knowledge, as it often happens in natural situations. This particular chapter concentrates on a learning situation where two agents, in a “teacher/student” relationship, exchange information with a learning incentive (on behalf of the student), according to a Socratic dialog. The teacher acts as the reliable knowledge source, and the student is an agent whose goal is to increase its knowledge base in an optimal way. The chapter first defines the nature of the addressed agents, the types of relation they maintain, and the structure and contents of their knowledge base. It emphasizes the symmetry between the interaction and knowledge management, by highlighting knowledge “repair” procedures launched through dialogic means. These procedures deal with misunderstanding, as a situation in which the student is unable to integrate new knowledge directly, and discussion, related to paradoxical information handling. The chapter describes learning goals and strategies, student and teacher roles within both dialog and knowledge handling. It also provides solutions for problems encountered by agents. A general architecture is then established and a comment on a part of the theory implementation is given. The conclusion is about the achievements carried out and the potential improvement of this work.

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