An Ontology-Based Task-Oriented Dialogue to Create OutSystems Applications

João Quirino Silva, Dora Melo, Irene Pimenta Rodrigues, João Costa Seco, Carla Ferreira, Joana Parreira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


An ontology-based task-oriented dialogue is presented as an interface for a user developing applications in the OutSystems environment, using natural language instructions. The dialogue system represents the domain of knowledge, the instructions, as an OWL2 ontology that is consulted and updated with the interpretation of the user’s utterance. The Instructions Ontology, is defined to express the concepts and instructions related to the OutSystems environment in the creation, parameterization, or updating, of software components. The user utterance interpretations are the instructions that will be executed in the OutSystems environment, according to the instructions ontology populated with the corresponding utterance interpretation and expressing the user’s intentions. The utterances are processed by applying a Universal Dependency Parser and then interpreted to obtain a partial semantic representation. Pragmatic interpretation computes a set of possible interpretations by matching the partial representation with the ontology classes, properties, instances and data properties values, such as names. The dialogue manager uses soft constraints to choose the set of best interpretations. The development of an ontology-based task-oriented dialogue system, which establishes the natural language interface of an intelligent application, to help unskilled users build applications to display and manipulate database contents. A set of preliminary experimental cases with promising results. The domain-dependent instruction ontology, which models specific discourse actions, instructions, and the domain of knowledge, allows defining a Natural Language module that is domain-independent that uses a partial discourse representation structure of the user’s utterance to determine the matching terms in the ontology and to obtain a set of possible semantic representations of the user’s utterance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number12
Number of pages17
JournalSN Computer Science
Issue number1
Early online date16 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Dialogue systems
  • Natural language processing
  • OWL2 ontologies
  • Semantic web


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