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Major changes in OpenDial version 1.x

  1. Upgrade to Java 8 (which is required to compile and run the toolkit).

  2. Major refactoring of the internal code base and efficiency improvements in the inference algorithms. For example, the sampling algorithm can now take full advantage of multi-core architectures.

  3. Support for Nuance cloud-based speech recognition and synthesis via the NuanceSpeech plugin.

  4. Support for data-driven dependency parsing with a new module bridging OpenDial to the MaltParser.

  5. Ability to connect two remote instances of OpenDial via the Connect to Remote Client functionality. This can notably be used to conduct Wizard-of-Oz experiment, as explained in the section Data collection. It can also be used to develop distributed dialogue architectures.

  6. Basic support for incremental processing via the addIncrementalContent method in DialogueSystem.

  7. The pattern matching functionalities used in the rule conditions have been extended to capture optional or alternative elements. For instance, the condition <if var="u_u" relation="contains" value="one (big|small)? object"/> will match strings such as "one big object", "one small object" or "one object". Such patterns can be very useful for natural language understanding models.

  8. Probabilistic rules can now be associated with a particular priority level (via the priority attribute in the XML specification), allowing them to supercede one another.

  9. Inclusion of a text-only interface (which can be used to run OpenDial in terminals without support for X11 forwarding).

  10. Removal of the Load modules functionality in the GUI.

  11. Inclusion of a new, extended example of dialogue domain: the flight-booking domain.