Conversation as Planned Behavior
SRI INTERNATIONAL MENLO PARK CA ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE CENTER
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Perhaps the most promising working hypothesis for the study of conversation is that the participants can be viewed as using planning mechanisms much like those developed in artificial intelligence. In this paper, a framework for investigating conversation called the Planning Approach is developed from this hypothesis. It suggests a style of analysis that can be applied to conversation that includes the participants goals, plans, and beliefs. The Planning Approach is described in detail in Part 2. Part 3 presents the fragment of conversation that is to be analyzed, and Part 4 focuses on the microanalysis of the free-flowing conversation as an illustration of the Planning Approach style of analysis. In the process, order is discovered in a conversation that on the surface seems quite incoherent. The microanalysis suggests ways in which the planning mechanisms common in artificial intelligence will have to be extended to deal with conversation. These computational mechanisms are discussed in Part 5. In Part 6, certain methodological difficulties are examined. Part 7 addresses the question of what constitutes successful communication.