How do Chatbots work? A Guide to the Chatbot Architecture

Understanding The Conversational Chatbot Architecture

chatbot architecture diagram

Once the user intent is understood and entities are available, the next step is to respond to the user. The dialog management unit uses machine language models trained on conversation history to decide the response. Rather than employing a few if-else statements, this model takes a contextual approach to conversation management. When a chatbot receives a query, it parses the text and extracts relevant information from it.

You can either train one for your specific use case or use pre-trained models for generic purposes. You can foun additiona information about ai customer service and artificial intelligence and NLP. A BERT-based FAQ retrieval system is a powerful tool to query an FAQ page and come up with a relevant response. The module can help the bot answer questions even when they are worded differently from the expected FAQ. Even after all this, the chatbot may not have an answer to every user query.

To give a better customer experience, these AI-powered chatbots employ a component of AI called natural language processing (NLP). These types of bots aren’t often used in companies and large scale applications yet as, frankly, they don’t perform as well vs NLU-and-flow-based chatbots like the ones shown above. This data can be stored in an SQL database or on a cloud server, depending on the complexity of the chatbot. These engines are the prime component that can interpret the user’s text inputs and convert them into machine code that the computer can understand.

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The architecture of a chatbot is designed, developed, handled, and maintained predominantly by a developer or technical team. Concurrently, in the back end, a whole bunch of processes are being carried out by multiple components over either software or hardware. Now refer to the above figure, and the box that represents the NLU component (Natural Language Understanding) helps in extracting the intent and entities from the user request. Constant testing, feedback, and iteration are key to maintaining and improving your chatbot’s functions and user satisfaction.

chatbot architecture diagram

Then, the user is guided through options or questions to the point where they want to arrive, and finally answers are given or the user data is obtained. Chatbots are designed from advanced technologies that often come from the field of artificial intelligence. However, the basic architecture of a conversational interface, understood as a generic block diagram, is not difficult to understand.


In the previous example of a restaurant search bot, the custom action is the restaurant search logic. According to a Facebook survey, more than 50% of consumers choose to buy from a company they can contact via chat. Chatbots are rapidly gaining popularity with both brands and consumers due to their ease of use and reduced wait times. You’ll need to make chatbot architecture diagram sure that you have a solid way to review the conversation and extract the data to understand what your users are wanting. In order to diagnose a bot’s issues, being able to log transaction data will help monitor the health of a chatbot. Nonetheless, make sure that your first chatbot should be easy to use for both the customers as well as your staff.

The quality of this communication thus depends on how well the libraries are constructed, and the software running the chatbot. While these bots are quick and efficient, they cannot decipher queries in natural language. Therefore, they are unable to indulge in complex conversations with humans. However, despite being around for years, numerous firms haven’t yet succeeded in an efficient deployment of this technology.

For example, you might ask a chatbot something and the chatbot replies to that. Maybe in mid-conversation, you leave the conversation, only to pick the conversation up later. Based on the type of chatbot you choose to build, the chatbot may or may not save the conversation history. For narrow domains a pattern matching architecture would be the ideal choice. However, for chatbots that deal with multiple domains or multiple services, broader domain. In these cases, sophisticated, state-of-the-art neural network architectures, such as Long Short-Term Memory (LSTMs) and reinforcement learning agents are your best bet.

The bot then responds to the users by analyzing the incoming query against the preset rules and fetching appropriate information. The core functioning of chatbots entirely depends on artificial intelligence and machine learning. Then, depending upon the requirements, an organization can create a chatbot empowered with Natural Language Processing (NLP) as well.

— As mentioned above, we want our model to be context aware and look back into the conversational history to predict the next_action. This is akin to a time-series model (pls see my other LSTM-Time series article) and hence can be best captured in the memory state of the LSTM model. The amount of conversational history we want to look back can be a configurable hyper-parameter to the model.

Conduct user profiling and behavior analysis to personalize conversations and recommendations, making the overall customer experience more engaging and satisfying. Let’s delve into the steps involved in building a chatbot architecture. Chatbots are frequently used on social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, and others to provide instant customer service and marketing. Many businesses utilize chatbots on their websites to enhance customer interaction and engagement. Here, we’ll explore the different platforms where chatbot architecture can be integrated. A well-designed chatbot architecture allows for scalability and flexibility.

Once the sentence is turned into ones and zeros and the computer decides what the intent is, it pulls on its knowledge base to figure out what to respond with. This is the most basic process of one type of chatbot of which there are many, and you want to make sure that you use the right chatbot for the job. And, no matter the complexity of the chatbot, the basic underlying architecture of it remains the same.

chatbot architecture diagram

By defined I mean, one should have the number of requirement fixed before actually developing a chatbot. For example, travel chatbot is providing an information about flights, hotels, and tours and helps to find the best package according to user’s criteria and can do bookings accordingly. Also, Google Assistant readily provides information requested by the user and Uber bot takes a ride request. The chatbot is not a new concept, the first chatbot ever was developed in the 1960’s, but nowadays we have chatbots over multiple platforms over the internet. These chatbots are configured to achieve some goal or to have a healthy conversation for entertainment.

Components of a Chatbot Architecture

The AI chatbot identifies the language, context, and intent, which then reacts accordingly. As explained above, a chatbot architecture necessarily includes a knowledge base or a response center to fetch appropriate replies. Or, you can also integrate any existing apps or services that include all the information possibly required by your customers.

Since the chatbot is domain specific, it must support so many features. NLP engine contains advanced machine learning algorithms to identify the user’s intent and further matches them to the list of available intents the bot supports. AI-enabled chatbots rely on NLP to scan users’ queries and recognize keywords to determine the right way to respond. Now, since ours is a conversational AI bot, we need to keep track of the conversations happened thus far, to predict an appropriate response. Modern chatbots; however, can also leverage AI and natural language processing (NLP) to recognize users’ intent from the context of their input and generate correct responses. The final step of chatbot development is to implement the entire dialogue flow by creating classifiers.

This helps the chatbot understand the user’s intent to provide a response accordingly. Machine learning plays a crucial role in training chatbots, especially those based on AI. It’s important to train the chatbot with various data patterns to ensure it can handle different types of user inquiries and interactions effectively. With NLP, chatbots can understand and interpret the context and nuances of human language. This technology allows the bot to identify and understand user inputs, helping it provide a more fluid and relatable conversation.

The intent classifier understands the user’s intention and returns the category to which the query belongs. The information about whether or not your chatbot could match the users’ questions is captured in the data store. NLP helps translate human language into a combination of patterns and text that can be mapped in real-time to find appropriate responses.

The availability of many algorithms has made it simpler for developers to create algorithm-based models that are acceptable. These chatbots deliver more predictable outcomes than rule-based bots, even if the highest score merely provides relativity and does not ensure a perfect match. Algorithms are important in this scenario because they help chatbots evaluate large datasets. To get started, look at the proportion of time your team are answering the same questions time and again. If you have a high volume of a simple question and answer (“What are your opening times?” for example) then it may be worth investing in a simple platform, such as Drift, Zendesk or Chatfuel. Chatbots in 2019 are recommended to be integrated into your customer support team.

A car dealer chatbot can guide buyer decisions through model comparison. With a modular approach, you can integrate more modules into the system without affecting the process flow and create bots that can handle multiple tasks with ease. The challenge with the pattern-based or rule based approach is that, the patterns should be coded manually, and it is not an easy task. Imagine, if we try to increase the capability of the chatbot, then we need to hardcode every condition the chatbot can answer. This is extremely difficult to maintain and can cause a lot of overlapping confusion between the patterns. Also as mentioned earlier single question can be asked in multiple ways.

Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised businesses on their enterprise software, automation, cloud, AI / ML and other technology related decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO.

chatbot architecture diagram

The total time for successful chatbot development and deployment varies according to the procedure. Apart from writing simple messages, you should also create a storyboard and dialogue flow for the bot. This includes designing different variations of a message that impart a similar meaning. Doing so will help the bot create communicate in a smooth manner even when it has to say the same thing repeatedly.

In most chatbot architecture designs, intentions, entities, the dialogue flow (State Machine), and scripts are the four pillars. Chatbots that employ AI and machine learning to their maximum extent, on the other hand, can resemble human communication and improve user experience. Over 80% of customers have reported a positive experience after interacting with them. The dialogue manager will update its current state based on this action and the retrieved results to make the next prediction.

  • Not only does it comprehend orders, but it also understands the language.
  • Anyone without coding experience can get started and build an effective marketing campaign or simple frequently asked questions (FAQ) automation.
  • Connecting a chatbot framework to a knowledge base that has data structured in a way that can be used as a catalyst to adding knowledge into your chatbot.

Machine learning can be applied on intent classification algorithm to classify and find patterns in the natural language, thanks to word embedding. You just need to provide training set of a few hundreds or thousands of examples, and it will pick up patterns in data and classify the intent accurately and in fairly less amount of time. When you wish to develop a chatbot, based the usability and context of business operations the architecture involved in building a chatbot changes dramatically. We cannot write a string matching and conditional operations for every kind of chatbot.

A rule-based bot can only comprehend a limited range of choices that it has been programmed with. Rule-based chatbots are easier to build as they use a simple true-false algorithm to understand user queries and provide relevant Chat PG answers. Whereas, the more advanced chatbots supporting human-like talks need a more sophisticated conversational architecture. Such chatbots also implement machine learning technology to improve their conversations.

An intelligent bot is one that integrates various artificial intelligence components that facilitate the different functions that optimize processes. Under this model, an intelligent bot should have a structured reference architecture as follows. Since chatbots rely on information and services exposed by other systems or applications through APIs, this module interacts with those applications or systems via APIs. In a chatbot design you must first begin the conversation with a greeting or a question.

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Many businesses utilize chatbots in customer service to handle common queries instantly and relieve their human staff for more complex issues. A knowledge base is a library of information that the chatbot relies on to fetch the data used to respond to users. Irrespective of the contextual differences, the typical word embedding for ‘bank’ will be the same in both cases. But BERT provides a different representation in each case considering the context. When a chatbot receives the message, it goes through all the user defined patterns until finds the pattern which matches user messages. If match is found, the chatbot uses the correct response template to generate the response.

Consider one of the intent class is ABOUT, so whenever a user can ask “Tell me about retirement plan” or “What is a retirement plan” etc., so here “retirement plan” is context. This bot is equipped with an artificial brain, also known as artificial intelligence. It is trained using machine-learning algorithms and can understand open-ended queries. Not only does it comprehend orders, but it also understands the language. As the bot learns from the interactions it has with users, it continues to improve.

Or, thanks to the engineers that there now exist numerous tools online that facilitate chatbot development even by a non-technical user. Hybrid chatbots rely both on rules and NLP to understand users and generate responses. These chatbots’ databases are easier to tweak but have limited conversational capabilities compared to AI-based chatbots. Choosing the correct architecture depends on what type of domain the chatbot will have.


I'm Xavier. I am a professional writer and blogger. It all started when I fell in love with my camera, which was presented to me when I was ten as a birthday gift. Since then, I wanted to become a cinematographer and also succeeded in that. So I am here researching and reviewing the filmmaking gadgets and giving out my top gadgets from the market.I hope you find my review articles interesting and helpful.

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