ISCL Hauptseminar (Summer semester 2019, Meurers)

Dialogue Systems


With personal assistants such as Siri and Cortana, smart home applications such as the Echo Dot, and in-car dialogue systems – applications supporting conversations between human and computer are widely used in real-life technology. In this seminar, we discuss the components of such dialogue systems from speech recognition via natural language understanding and generation to dialogue management.

Instructor: Prof. Dr. Detmar Meurers

Course meets: 4 SWS

Credit Points:

Online syllabus:

Moodle page:

Please enroll in this course by logging into this moodle course with your ordinary ZDV university login.

Nature of course and our expectations: This is an overview-oriented Hauptseminar, in which we jointly introduce and explore the topic, perspectives and approaches. You are expected to

  1. regularly and actively participate in class, read the papers assigned by any of the presenters and post a meaningful question on Moodle to the “Discussion Forum” on each reading at the latest on the day before it is discussed in class.
  2. explore and present a topic:
  3. if you pursue the 9 CP option, work out a project term paper

Academic conduct and misconduct: Research is driven by discussion and free exchange of ideas, motivations, and perspectives. So you are encouraged to work in groups, discuss, and exchange ideas. At the same time, the foundation of the free exchange of ideas is that everyone is open about where they obtained which information. Concretely, this means you are expected to always make explicit when you’ve worked on something as a team – and keep in mind that being part of a team always means sharing the work.

For text you write, you always have to provide explicit references for any ideas or passages you reuse from somewhere else. Note that this includes text “found” on the web, where you should cite the url of the web site in case no more official publication is available.

Class etiquette: Please do not read or work on materials for other classes in our seminar. All portable electronic devices such as cell phones and laptops should be switched off for the entire length of the flight, oops, class.


  1. Detmar Meurers: Introduction and Overview
  2. Survey on current approaches (Sessions 1.2 + 2.1)
  3. Generation component (Session 2.2 + 3)
  4. Discourse Structure (Session 4 + 5.1)
  5. Data sets (Session 5.2, 21.5., long session)
  6. Neural network/deep learning methods for dialogue systems (Sessions 5.3 + 6)
  7. Discourse understanding and related work (Sessions 7 + 8 + 9.1)
  8. Speech Recognition (Session 9.2 + 10.1)
  9. Evaluation (Sessions 10.2 + 11 + 12.1)
  10. Systems (Sessions 12.2 + 13 + 14 (long) + 15.1 )
  11. Tutorial Dialogue Systems (Sessions 15.2 + 16)
  12. Other related work:
  13. Wrap-Up and Term Paper Discussion (Session 17)