Understanding confounding effects in linguistic coordination: an information-theoretic approach

1 Dec 2014  ·  Shuyang Gao, Greg Ver Steeg, Aram Galstyan ·

We suggest an information-theoretic approach for measuring stylistic coordination in dialogues. The proposed measure has a simple predictive interpretation and can account for various confounding factors through proper conditioning... We revisit some of the previous studies that reported strong signatures of stylistic accommodation, and find that a significant part of the observed coordination can be attributed to a simple confounding effect - length coordination. Specifically, longer utterances tend to be followed by longer responses, which gives rise to spurious correlations in the other stylistic features. We propose a test to distinguish correlations in length due to contextual factors (topic of conversation, user verbosity, etc.) and turn-by-turn coordination. We also suggest a test to identify whether stylistic coordination persists even after accounting for length coordination and contextual factors. read more

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