The GraphDial Project

Welcome to the public webpage of the GraphDial project! GraphDial is a four-years research project funded by the Research Council of Norway as part of a "Young Research Talents" grant. The goal of GraphDial is to advance the state of the art in dialogue management and human-robot interaction by investigating the use of graphs to represent the dialogue state.

Current approaches to dialogue management often use neural models trained on dialogue data using supervised or reinforcement learning. These approaches have led to enhanced performance across many dialogue tasks, but also have several shortcomings:

  1. They rely on quite restrictive representations of the dialogue state (often based on fixed numbers of slots to fill), making it difficult to represent rich conversational contexts that evolve over time.
  2. They are dependent on large amounts of training data to learn the model parameters, which is problematic for applications where data is scarce and expensive to obtain.

GraphDial investigates a new approach to dialogue management based on probabilistic graphs as core representation for the dialogue state. Graphs are well suited to encore rich interactions that include multiple entities (such as places, persons, objects, tasks or utterances) and their relations. Furthermore, GraphDial will also work on the use of weak supervision for dialogue management. Weak supervision is an emerging AI paradigm designed to provide machine learning models with indirect training data extracted from heuristics or domain knowledge.

The project will use human–robot interaction as application domain to evaluate the dialogue models developed during the project, thanks to the development platform available for the Pepper robot (on the right).

The GraphDial project features strong international collaborations with leading researchers in the field of spoken dialogue systems, statistical relational learning, graph neural networks and human–robot interaction (see our team). The project is also in contact with two Norwegian companies involved in the development of conversational AI tech to facilitate the dissemination of the project’s research results.



The new Pepper robot for the project has arrived!


Nick Walker has joined the GraphDial team as our new PhD Fellow!


Available PhD position funded by GraphDial: see here for details. Application deadline: 16/08/2020.


The official website of the GraphDial project is now up and running!


The GraphDial project has now officially started!