Communicating vague spatial concepts in human-GIS interactions: A collaborative dialogue approach

Guoray Cai, Hongmei Wang, Alan M. MacEachren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Natural language requests involving vague spatial concepts are not easily communicated to a GIS because the meaning of spatial concepts depends largely on the contexts (such as task, spatial contexts, and user's personal background) that may or may not be available or specified in the system. To address such problems, we developed a collaborative dialogue approach that enables the system and the user to construct shared knowledge about relevant contexts. The system is able to anticipate what contextual knowledge must be shared, and to form a plan to exchange contextual information based on the system's belief on who knows what. To account those user contexts that are not easily communicated by language, direct feedback approach is used to refine the system's belief so that the intended meaning is properly grounded. The approach is implemented as a dialogue agent, GeoDialogue, and is illustrated through an example dialogue involving the communication of the vague spatial concept near.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-300
Number of pages14
JournalLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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