When to Generate Hedge in Peer Tutoring Interaction?

Alafate Abulimiti, Chloé Clavel, Justine Cassell


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Abstract: This paper explores the application of machine learning techniques to predict where hedging occurs in peer-tutoring interactions. The study uses a naturalistic face-to-face dataset annotated for natural language turns, conversational strategies, tutoring strategies, and nonverbal behaviors. These elements are processed into a vector representation of the previous turns, which serves as input to several machine learning models, including MLP and LSTM. The results show that embedding layers, capturing the semantic information of the previous turns, significantly improves the model's performance. Additionally, the study provides insights into the importance of various features, such as interpersonal rapport and nonverbal behaviors, in predicting hedges by using Shapley values for feature explanation. We discover that the eye gaze of both the tutor and the tutee has a significant impact on hedge prediction. We further validate this observation through a follow-up ablation study.