Google Research

Circa - Indirect yes/no answers in dialog


The Circa (meaning ‘approximately’) dataset aims to help machine learning systems to solve the problem of interpreting indirect answers to polar questions.

The dataset contains pairs of yes/no questions and indirect answers, together with annotations for the interpretation of the answer.

The data is collected in 10 different social conversational situations (eg. food preferences of a friend).


Q: Want to get some dinner together?
A: I'd rather just go to bed. [No]

Q: Do you like spicy food?
A: I put hot sauce on everything. [Yes]

Q: Would you like to go see live music?
A: If it’s not too crowded. [Yes, upon a condition]

Currently, the Circa annotations focus on a few classes such as ‘yes’, ‘no’ and ‘yes, upon condition’. The data can be used to build machine learning models which can replicate these classes on new question-answer pairs, and allow evaluation of methods for doing so.