Ondřej Dušek

office hours
email me to arrange a meeting
V Holešovičkách 747/2
180 00 Praha 8
Czech Republic

Main Research Interests

  • Natural language generation
  • Spoken dialogue systems and chatbots
  • Evaluation methods for NLG/dialogue/NLP



  • NG-NLG – Language generation with neural & symbolic methods (ERC StG, 2022-2027)
  • EDU-AI – Education chatbot assistant (Czech Technical Agency, 2021-2023)


  • THEaiTRE – Automatically generating a theatre play (Czech Technical Agency, 2020-2022)
  • NaMuDDiS – Natural Multi-domain Dialogue Systems (Charles University funded, 2019-2021)
  • METOD – dialogue management (industry cooperation with Agnostix co-funded by City of Prague, 2020)

At Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh (2016-2018):

During my Ph.D. study (2011-2016):

  • AdaNLG – adaptive natural language generator (2014-2016)
  • Vystadial – statistical spoken dialogue system (2013-2016)
  • QTLeap – semantic machine translation (2013-2016)
  • Khresmoi – medical information retrieval (working on machine translation, 2013-2014)
  • FAUST – improving machine translation fluency (2011-2013)


List of classesNPFL099 Statistical dialogue systemsNPFL123 Dialogue systems


Students I supervise:

  • Vojtěch Hudeček (Ph.D. with Zdeněk Žabokrtský, since 2018)
  • Zdeněk Kasner (Ph.D. since 2019)
  • Sourabrata Mukherjee (Ph.D. since 2019)
  • Daniel Štancl (Ph.D. since 2020)
  • Ondřej Plátek (Ph.D. since 2021)
  • Patrícia Schmidtová (completed BSc. with Vojtěch Hudeček, 2018–2019; completed MSc. 2020–2022)
  • Jaroslav Šafář (MSc. since 2021)
  • František Trebuňa (MSc. since 2021)
  • Jiří Balhar (MSc. since 2022)
  • Peter Grajcar (MSc. since 2022)
  • Nalin Kumar (MSc. since 2022)
  • Kristína Szabová (MSc. since 2022)
  • Saad Obaid (MSc., LCT with Uni Saarbrücken, with Vera Demberg & Iza Škrjanec, since 2022)
  • Jakub Růžička (BSc. with Jan Cuřín & Martin Čmejrek, since 2022)
  • Ekaterina Garanina (MSc., LCT with Uni Groningen, with Gertjan van Noord, since 2022)

My former students:

  • Shubham Agarwal (Ph.D. at Heriot-Watt, with Verena Rieser & Ioannis Konstas, 2017-2019)
  • Vojtěch John (completed BSc. 2021-2022)
  • Jonáš Kulhánek (completed MSc. 2020-2021)
  • Ondřej Motlíček (completed MSc. 2021–2022)
  • Tomáš Nekvinda (completed MSc. 2019–2020; Ph.D. 2020-2022)
  • Borek Požár (completed BSc. with Martin Čmejrek & Jan Cuřín, 2020-2021)
  • Jan Vainer (completed MSc. 2019–2020)
  • Xinnuo Xu (completed Ph.D., CDT Robotics Edinburgh, with Verena Rieser & Ioannis Konstas, 2016–2021)


2023/01/20: Our paper Mind the Labels: Describing Relations in Knowledge Graphs With Pretrained Models (Kasner et al.) was accepted at EACL. A preprint is on arXiv.

2022/09/22: Our paper titled Learning Interpretable Latent Dialogue Actions With Less Supervision (Hudeček & Dušek) was accepted at AACL-IJCNLP. A preprint is on arXiv.

2022/07/15: Our paper titled AARGH! End-to-end Retrieval-Generation for Task-Oriented Dialog (Nekvinda & Dušek) was accepted at SIGDIAL. It is now available on arXiv.

2022/06/30: I gave a talk on Neural Conversational AI at the MLSS^N summer school in Cracow. You can get the slides here, live recording on Youtube is here.

2022/06/01: The ERC NG-NLG project officially started in April. I was hiring a post-doc – see details here.

2022/04/06: Our paper DIASER: A Unifying View on Task-Oriented Dialogue Annotation (Hudeček et al.) was accepted for LREC 2022. You can now see the paper in the proceedings.

2022/03/22: I gave a talk at the AICZECHIA seminar on Large Language Models for Data-to-text Generation. You can get the slides here, recording will be on YouTube soon.

2022/02/28: Our paper titled Neural Pipeline for Data-to-text Generation (Kasner & Dušek) was accepted at the ACL conference. You can see it now in ACL Anthology.

2022/02/14: We're starting another run of the Dialogue Systems course, this time it's included in the prg.ai minor as well.

2022/01/10: I was awarded an ERC grant titled Next-Generation Natural Language Generation. It joins explicit semantics and neural language models in order to get natural and accurate NLG outputs. You can read a short report in the UK Forum magazine, more info will follow.

2021/10/08 I co-organized the 6th workshop on Search-oriented Conversational AI. You can have a look at the report in the SIGIR Forum.

2021/09/22: Our paper titled AuGPT: Auxiliary Tasks and Data Augmentation for End-To-End Dialogue with Pre-Trained Language Models (Kulhánek et al.) was accepted at the NLP4ConvAI workshop at EMNLP.

2021/09/21: Our INLG paper on NLG error analysis (van Miltenburg et al.) was awarded a Commendation for an outstanding position paper!

2021/08/26: Our paper MiRANews: Dataset and Benchmarks for Multi-Resource-Assisted News Summarization (Xu et al., with HWU) was accepted to EMNLP Findings.

2021/08/06: I was involved in the GEM benchmark – Generation, Evaluation & Metrics. This was presented at an ACL workshop and included a shared task. You can have a look at the workshop website.

2021/07/26: I have 2 papers accepted at INLG 2021 – Underreporting of errors in NLG output, and what to do about it (van Miltenburg et al., multi-party collaboration) and the winning automatic metric for the Accuracy Evaluation Shared Task, titled Text-in-Context: Token-Level Error Detection for Table-to-Text Generation (Kasner et al.) with Simon Mille from Pompeu Fabra University.

2021/06/15: I started my summer research visit at Prof. Milica Gašić's lab at Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf

2021/05/28: Our paper Shades of BLEU, Flavours of Success: The Case of MultiWOZ (Nekvinda & Dušek) was accepted to the GEM ACL Workshop.

2021/05/06: 2 papers accepted at ACL 2021 – AggGen: Ordering and Aggregating while Generating (Xu et al.) with Heriot-Watt University and Discovering Dialogue Slots with Weak Supervision (Hudeček et al.) with Zhou Yu from Columbia University.

2021/04/21: Our collaboration with LIMSI – Defining And Detecting Inconsistent System Behavior in Task-oriented Dialogues (Schaub et al.) was accepted to the TALN-RÉCITAL conference.

2021/04/26: The EDU-AI project (education chatbot) funded by the Czech Technical Agency has started.


Tools I'm participating on

  • Alex – spoken dialogue system framework
  • Flect – statistical morphology generation
  • MTMonkey – machine translation web services infrastructure
  • RatPred – trainable NLG quality estimation
  • TGen – a statistical natural language generator
  • Treex – a modular NLP toolkit

Personal webpage