Overview of Entities

Use entities to create and manage categories of data that are relevant to your company or product. Using entities can improve the virtual assistant’s understanding of user expressions, which in turn improves the responses users receive.

An entity represents an important category of object that’s likely to occur in user input. By allowing you to categorize important parts of user expressions, entities provide the virtual assistant with the context in which to understand the elements and attributes the user is referring to. The virtual assistant can then respond appropriately to the user request or action.

An entity is a noun that defines a class of objects or data, with specific values representing possible values in that class. For example, the APPLIANCE entity might have values of washing machine, cooker, fridge, and so on. Entities are referenced in intents and the item values you define for the entity (washing machine, cooker, fridge) are used for matching the user input to the intent.

You can create your own custom entities and Oracle Virtual Assistant also provides the following predefined entities:

  • YESNO

  • DATEEXPRESSION

  • TIMEEXPRESSION

Entities make it possible for a single intent to represent multiple specific user requests. For example, if you work for an airline company you might create a custom entity, LOCATION, and define specific values for the entity for each of the cities your company services, for example, London, Amsterdam, New York. If you then create an intent that references the custom LOCATION entity and the predefined DATEEXPRESSION entity as follows:

When is the next flight to {LOCATION} on {DATEEXPRESSION}?

Then you don’t have to create separate intents for the following possible user queries:

  • When is the next flight to London on 6th June?

  • When is the next flight to Amsterdam today?

  • When is the next flight to New York?

All of these user queries generate the response defined in the intent: When is the next flight to {LOCATION} on {DATEEXPRESSION}?

The Entities page displays all the entities available in your environment, including the predefined entities provided by Oracle and any custom entities you create. You can’t edit or delete the predefined entities but you can create and edit your own entities on the Entities page. For information, see Create an Entity and Edit Entities or Entity Items.