The formalisation of the hinting process in Tutorial Dialogues is undertaken in order to simulate the Socratic teaching method. An adaptation of the BE&E annotation scheme for Dialogue Moves, based on the theory of social obligations, is sketched, and a taxonomy of hints and a selection algorithm is suggested based on data from the BE&E corpus. Both the algorithm and the tutor’s reasoning are formalised in the context of the information state theory of dialogue management developed on the trindi project. The algorithm is characterised using update rules which take into account the student model, and the tutor’s reasoning process is described in terms of context accommodation. 1 Theoretical Background 1.1 Information State Update The formalisation of the hinting process uses the Information State (IS) approach, in which dialogue is seen in terms of the information that each participant has at every point in the interaction. The formal account thus accords with the proposals put forward on the trindi project 1 (Bohlin et al. (1999), Larsson et al. (1999)). The IS representation consists of fields containing different kinds of information about the dialogue. This information is updated after each new utterance using update rules of various types. The latter include details of how each field, or information attribute, in the IS should be updated, if at all. 2 The backgroun
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