I Can Parse You: Grammars for Dialogs

Authors Martin Hirzel, Louis Mandel, Avraham Shinnar, Jerome Simeon, Mandana Vaziri

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Martin Hirzel
Louis Mandel
Avraham Shinnar
Jerome Simeon
Mandana Vaziri

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Martin Hirzel, Louis Mandel, Avraham Shinnar, Jerome Simeon, and Mandana Vaziri. I Can Parse You: Grammars for Dialogs. In 2nd Summit on Advances in Programming Languages (SNAPL 2017). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 71, pp. 6:1-6:15, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2017)


Humans and computers increasingly converse via natural language. Those conversations are moving from today's simple question answering and command-and-control to more complex dialogs. Developers must specify those dialogs. This paper explores how to assist developers in this specification. We map out the staggering variety of applications for human-computer dialogs and distill it into a catalog of flow patterns. Based on that, we articulate the requirements for dialog programming models and offer our vision for satisfying these requirements using grammars. If our approach catches on, computers will soon parse you to better assist you in your daily life.
  • Bots
  • virtual agents
  • dialog managers
  • domain-specific languages


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