Experiments in Evaluating Interactive Spoken Language Systems
MASSACHUSETTS INST OF TECH CAMBRIDGE LAB FOR COMPUTER SCIENCE
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As the DARPA spoken language community moves towards developing useful systems for interactive problem solving, we must explore alternative evaluation procedures that measure whether these systems aid people in solving problems within the task domain. In this paper, we describe several experiments exploring new evaluation procedures. To look at end-to-end evaluation, we modified our data collection procedure slightly in order to experiment with several objective task completion measures. We found that the task completion time is well correlated with the number of queries used. We also explored log file evaluation, where evaluators were asked to judge the clarity of the query and the correctness of the response based on examination of the log file. Our results show that seven evaluators were unanimous on more than 80 of the queries, and that at least 6 out of 7 evaluators agreed over 90 of the time. Finally, we applied these new procedures to compare two systems, one system requiring a complete parse and the other using the more flexible robust parsing mechanism. We found that these metrics could distinguish between these systems there were significant differences in ability to complete the task, number of queries required to complete the task, and score as computed through a log file evaluation between the robust and the non-robust modes.
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