Special Issue on Computational Dialogue Modelling: The Role of Pragmatics and Common Ground in Interaction Call for Papers

Guest editors: Hendrick Bushmeier, University of Bielefeld, Germany, Francesco Cutugno, University Federico II of Naples, Italy.
Call Deadline: April 30, 2021

Natural Language Processing capabilities for modern machines are becoming more and more important to break human-machine communication barriers and improve the quality of the interaction. Simple commands and dialogue state tracking methods are available for very constrained tasks and domains, but in order to move towards more complex scenarios, deeper insights concerning the role of pragmatics in dialogue systems and of grounding and common ground are needed. For example, investigating the role of pragmatics in dialogue systems allows systems to be more observable in the sense that inconsistencies between agents’ internal representations and perceived evidence are made clear in an efficient way. Also, more complex clarification strategies allow systems to be more recoverable as reported inconsistencies can be addressed efficiently. In general, managing conflicting internal representations of the grounded domain among involved agents, both human and artificial, is of critical importance to improve observability and recoverability in technological systems using interfaces based on natural language. Beyond case-specific applications, this issue aims at collecting different approaches to the definition of general theoretical/technological frameworks involving pragmatics at their core to generate more complex interactions. Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Theoretical models for argumentation-based dialogue
  • Disambiguation strategies
  • Semantics, pragmatics, and context in dialogue systems
  • Interactional competences: cooperation, clarification, repair, feedback, turn-taking, grounding
  • Dialogue corpora collection and annotation protocolsEmbodied conversational agents
  • Situated conversational agents
  • Natural language understanding
  • Natural language generation
  • Dialogue-oriented knowledge bases Multi-party dialogue

Novel and completed researches, literature surveys, position papers, review papers, and project reports about the listed topics are all welcome. Papers devoted to phenomena and specialties related to the Italian language will be of a particular but not exclusive interest. Extended abstracts (one single column page long text + references) are expected before the submission of the final paper to allow the organizers to set up the reviewing process and provide appropriate feedback to the authors in a timely manner.
Private companies and innovative startups will be also invited to contribute to the issue with their latest ideas and products in the field.

Abstracts should be submitted here: IJCOL paper submission and review system

We welcome manuscripts written in English and Italian. Instructions for manuscript formatting and submission are at the page; IJCoL editorial process.


  • February 28, 2021 – Extended abstracts submission
  • April 30, 2021 – Paper submission
  • May 30, 2021 – Feedback to authors
  • June 30, 2021 – Revised submission