Reference Resolution and New Entities in Exploratory Data Visualization: From Controlled to Unconstrained Interactions With a Conversational Assistant
Abstract: In the context of data visualization, as in other grounded settings, referents are created by the task the agents engage in and are salient because they belong to the shared physical setting. Our focus is on resolving references to visualizations on large displays; crucially, reference resolution is directly involved in the process of creating new entities, namely new visualizations. First, we developed a reference resolution model for a conversational assistant. We trained the assistant on controlled dialogues for data visualizations involving a single user. Second, we ported the conversational assistant including its reference resolution model to a different domain, supporting two users collaborating on a data exploration task. We explore how the new setting affects reference detection and resolution; we compare the performance in the controlled vs unconstrained setting, and discuss the general lessons that we draw from this adaptation.