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ISRN Artificial Intelligence
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 363840, 10 pages
Research Article

A Modular System Oriented to the Design of Versatile Knowledge Bases for Chatbots

1Istituto di Calcolo e Reti ad Alte Prestazioni (ICAR), Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (ICAR), Viale delle Scienze, Edificio 11, 90128 Palermo, Italy
2Dipartimento de Ingegneria Chimica, Gestionale, Informatica e Meccanica, Università di Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, Edificio 6, 90128 Palermo, Italy

Received 9 October 2011; Accepted 22 November 2011

Academic Editor: K. T. Atanassov

Copyright © 2012 Giovanni Pilato et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The paper illustrates a system that implements a framework, which is oriented to the development of a modular knowledge base for a conversational agent. This solution improves the flexibility of intelligent conversational agents in managing conversations. The modularity of the system grants a concurrent and synergic use of different knowledge representation techniques. According to this choice, it is possible to use the most adequate methodology for managing a conversation for a specific domain, taking into account particular features of the dialogue or the user behavior. We illustrate the implementation of a proof-of-concept prototype: a set of modules exploiting different knowledge representation methodologies and capable of managing different conversation features has been developed. Each module is automatically triggered through a component, named corpus callosum, that selects in real time the most adequate chatbot knowledge module to activate.