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Unit information: Dialogue and Narrative in 2021/22

Unit name Dialogue and Narrative
Unit code COMSM0023
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Simpson
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Computer Science
Faculty Faculty of Engineering

Description including Unit Aims

This unit presents the theoretical foundations for interactions that are narratively structured, reflecting the human bias towards organising our experiences as (language, logical and visual) narratives. Understanding the narrative structure requires a deep understanding of Natural Language Processing (NLP) components going from low-level text mining and segmentation to discourse-level analysis and summarisation. The unit builds upon these to teach core concepts in dialogue management, argumentation theory, and computational modelling of narratives.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. identify and describe the main computational approaches to natural language processing;
  2. identify and describe the main components of a computational system for argumentation;
  3. employ these techniques for computational modelling of narratives;
  4. design and implement a practical human-computer dialogue system involving natural language, argumentation and narratives.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a series of mostly synchronous sessions, including lectures, seminars, practical activities, discussion groups and self-directed exercises.

Assessment Information

1 Summative Assessment, 100% - Coursework. This will assess all ILOs.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. COMSM0023).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.