How to Build a Chatbot Using Java

NIIT Digital
5 min readJul 12, 2021
Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash

Originally published at https://www.niit.com/india/

With technology advancing rapidly the bots have become intelligent enough to converse in unexpectedly natural ways. They can handle jobs effectively thanks to advancements in automation and natural language processing.

A chatbot is a computer program that simulates human-to-human communication, particularly over the Internet. Internally, it employs any NLP (Natural Language Processing) system to read human interactions and respond with relevant data. In this Java AIML tutorial, we’ll learn how to make a small Java chatbot application.

AIML (Artificial Intelligence Markup Language) is a type of XML that is used to create natural language software agents. It comprises the fundamental rules that the Natural Language Understanding (NLU) unit employs. The more AIML rules we add, the smarter our chatbot will become.

It’s critical to understand the distinction between NLP and NLU. All systems that operate together to manage end-to-end interactions between machines and humans in the human’s preferred language are referred to as natural language processing (NLP). NLP enables people and machines to communicate in a “natural” manner. NLU is a subset of the larger field of natural language processing. It aids with processing unstructured inputs such as misspellings, switched words, abbreviations, idioms, and other peculiarities.

Prerequisite

Implementation of AIML as a Reference- To get started, we’ll use a reference application that’s already up and running. On the Google-Code repository, there is a java-based implementation called program-ab. Download the most recent version of program-ab from the Google-Code repository.

Eclipse and Maven — for the coding part and the development.

A Java AIML Chatbot Example

To create your own Chatbot application, follow these simple steps.

Download and unzip the program-ab package.

To begin, unzip the program-ab distribution to a suitable location. We’ll require Ab.jar as well as any existing AIML regulations.

Create an eclipse project

To begin work, create an eclipse maven project. So, let’s make a maven project.

Make a project and add the AIML library to it

To begin work, create a maven project in Eclipse. Import to Eclipse with jar packaging and GAV coordinates of your choosing. Make a lib folder in the base folder and copy the Ab.jar from the program-ab distribution to it.

Add AIML to the classpath.

Add Ab.jar to the deployment assembly in Eclipse to add AIML to the classpath. You may also add this jar to your local Maven repository and use it from there.

In pom.xml, add the following AIML maven dependency. Now use the command mvn clean install to construct the maven project.

Make a copy of the AIML regulations that are already in place.

Copy the bots folder from the program-ab directory to your Maven project’s resources folder. This folder contains the default AIML sets we’ll use at first. We’ll look at how to include our custom rules into our Chatbot later.

Create Hello World Chatbot Program

Make a basic Java programme called Chatbot.java now. Its main() method starts the chat application, which runs at the command prompt. The basic idea of this programme will be to introduce an infinite loop, with each loop taking a user input from the command prompt, and then asking program-ab API to return the answer to the user’s input.

Interactions using Chatbots to be tested.

Now that our program is complete, we may begin a chat conversation. Simply run the software as a Java application to accomplish this. You can escape by typing q or wq.

Custom Patterns Can Be Added to a Chatbot

Now we can add our own unique patterns to the bot to make interactions more intelligent. To do so, create a new.aiml file in your bot’s aiml directory (src\main\resources\bots\super\aiml). You can make as many categories as you want in that file. The human inquiries are referred to as a category, and the chat bot’s response is referred to as a template. I made a file named a-custom-entry.aiml and put three questions in it, as seen below.

Once our custom aiml file is complete, we must create entries for other folders in parallel to aiml. We’ll need to use the bot to accomplish this. writeAIMLFiles(). For this purpose, I wrote another Java programme called AddAiml.java. After you’ve finished editing the aiml, run this application once more before launching the bot. These custom entries will be added to the bot’s brain.

Custom chat patterns are put to the test.

After you’ve added the new entries to the AIML with AddAiml, restart the chatbot application and ask the new queries. It should respond appropriately.

Here is the result in our instance.

If you are reading this chances are that you and we have a mutual interest, a profound love for coding and technology. If you’d like to explore similar content, head over to our Knowledge Centre and lose yourself in long-format tutorials like this one for fun.

--

--

NIIT Digital

We are a skill development hub for learners worldwide sharing ideas on technology. Explore insightful reads at https://www.niit.com/india/knowledge-center