The DIT++ annotation scheme is the result of two converging lines of research:

  1. the development of a semantic theory of dialogue acts, called Dynamic Interpretation Theory (DIT);
  2. the study of alternative systems of dialogue acts and dialogue annotation schemes, with the aim of defining a comprehensive taxonomy of dialogue acts, useful both for the design of natural-language based dialogue systems, and for the analysis and annotation of spoken and multimodal human dialogue.

Work in the former line resulted in the definition of a multidimensional taxonomy of dialogue acts for which a dynamic update semantics was defined (see Bunt 1989; 1995; 2000; 2013; 2014). Work in the latter line resulted in the definition of the DIT++ taxonomy and annotation scheme (Bunt 2009), which incorporated ideas from a variety of annotation schemes, notably DAMSL, SWBD-DAMSL, HCRC Map Task, Gothenburg IM, TRAINS, Verbmobil, and AMI. The DIT++ scheme Release 5.0 served as the basis for defining the ISO 24617-2 standard, and conversely benefited from the establishment of the latter.

The DIT++ taxonomy with the update semantics of its dialogue acts has in a preliminary version been applied in the multimodal dialogue PARADIME system (Keizer & Bunt, 2006; 2007) and is currently being applied in the multimodal Metalogue system.

The DIT++ annotation scheme was tested for its usability in the European project LIRICS and in PhD studies involving the manual annotation of dialogues in several European languages (see e.g. (Geertzen, 2005; 2006; Petukhova (2009; 2011). Petukhova & Bunt (2010) showed that the scheme can be applied in the automatic annotation of raw speech in human dialogue with very high accuracy.

A new version of the DIT++ scheme with some improvements and extensions has been released in April 2019 (Release 5.2) and is the basis for a proposed second edition of ISO 24617-2 (November 2019), which is currently under review.

For full documentation and explanation of the communicative functions, dimensions, qualifiers, and relations among dialogue acts see the DIT++ home page.