Intents in LUIS

An intent represents a task or action the user wants to perform. It is a purpose or goal expressed in a user's input, such as booking a flight, paying a bill, or finding a news article.

In your LUIS app, you define a set of named intents that correspond to actions users want to take in your application. A travel app may define an intent named BookFlight, that LUIS extracts from the utterance "Book me a ticket to Paris."

Example intent Example utterances
BookFlight Book me a flight to Rio next week
Fly me to Rio on the 24th
I need a plane ticket next Sunday to Rio de Janeiro
Greeting Hi
Good morning
CheckWeather What's the weather like in Boston?
Show me the forecast for this weekend
None Get me a cookie recipe

All applications come with the predefined intent, "None". The none intent teaches LUIS to recognize user statements that are irrelevant to the app.

A LUIS app must have at least one intent.

Prebuilt domains provide intents

In addition to intents that you define, you can use prebuilt intents from one of the prebuilt domains. See Use prebuilt domains in LUIS apps to learn about how to customize intents from a prebuilt domain for use in your app.

You assign an utterance to a single intent. When LUIS receives an utterance on the endpoint, it returns the one top intent for that utterance. If you want all intents, you can provide verbose=true flag on the query string of the API endpoint call.

How do intents relate to entities?

Create an intent when this intent would trigger an action in your client application, like a call to the checkweather() function, and create an entity to represent parameters required to execute the action.

Example intent Entity Entity in example utterances
CheckWeather { "type": "location", "entity": "seattle" } What's the weather like in Seattle?
CheckWeather { "type": "date_range", "entity": "this weekend" } Show me the forecast for this weekend

Best practice - only required, specific intents

It is a best practice to use only as many intents as you need to perform the functions of your app. The general rule is to create an intent when this intent would trigger an action in calling application or bot.

The intents should be specific while being generic enough not to be overlapping.

If you define too many intents, it becomes harder for LUIS to classify utterances correctly. If you define too few, they may be so general as to be overlapping.

Next steps