Recent efforts in Dialogue State Tracking (DST) for task-oriented dialogues have progressed toward open-vocabulary or generation-based approaches where the models can generate slot value candidates from the dialogue history itself. These approaches have shown good performance gain, especially in complicated dialogue domains with dynamic slot values. However, they fall short in two aspects: (1) they do not allow models to explicitly learn signals across domains and slots to detect potential dependencies among (domain, slot) pairs; and (2) existing models follow auto-regressive approaches which incur high time cost when the dialogue evolves over multiple domains and multiple turns. In this paper, we propose a novel framework of Non-Autoregressive Dialog State Tracking (NADST) which can factor in potential dependencies among domains and slots to optimize the models towards better prediction of dialogue states as a complete set rather than separate slots. In particular, the non-autoregressive nature of our method not only enables decoding in parallel to significantly reduce the latency of DST for real-time dialogue response generation, but also detect dependencies among slots at token level in addition to slot and domain level. Our empirical results show that our model achieves the state-of-the-art joint accuracy across all domains on the MultiWOZ 2.1 corpus, and the latency of our model is an order of magnitude lower than the previous state of the art as the dialogue history extends over time.
Dialogue state tracking (DST) aims at estimating the current dialogue state given all the preceding conversation. For multi-domain DST, the data sparsity problem is a major obstacle due to increased numbers of state candidates and dialogue lengths. To encode the dialogue context efficiently, we propose to utilize the previous dialogue state (predicted) and the current dialogue utterance as the input for DST. To consider relations among different domain-slots, the schema graph involving prior knowledge is exploited. In this paper, a novel context and schema fusion network is proposed to encode the dialogue context and schema graph by using internal and external attention mechanisms. Experiment results show that our approach can obtain new state-of-the-art performance of the open-vocabulary DST on both MultiWOZ 2.0 and MultiWOZ 2.1 benchmarks.
Over-dependence on domain ontology and lack of knowledge sharing across domains are two practical and yet less studied problems of dialogue state tracking. Existing approaches generally fall short in tracking unknown slot values during inference and often have difficulties in adapting to new domains. In this paper, we propose a Transferable Dialogue State Generator (TRADE) that generates dialogue states from utterances using a copy mechanism, facilitating knowledge transfer when predicting (domain, slot, value) triplets not encountered during training. Our model is composed of an utterance encoder, a slot gate, and a state generator, which are shared across domains. Empirical results demonstrate that TRADE achieves state-of-the-art joint goal accuracy of 48.62% for the five domains of MultiWOZ, a human-human dialogue dataset. In addition, we show its transferring ability by simulating zero-shot and few-shot dialogue state tracking for unseen domains. TRADE achieves 60.58% joint goal accuracy in one of the zero-shot domains, and is able to adapt to few-shot cases without forgetting already trained domains.
MultiWOZ is a recently-released multidomain dialogue dataset spanning 7 distinct domains and containing over 10000 dialogues, one of the largest resources of its kind to-date. Though an immensely useful resource, while building different classes of dialogue state tracking models using MultiWOZ, we detected substantial errors in the state annotations and dialogue utterances which negatively impacted the performance of our models. In order to alleviate this problem, we use crowdsourced workers to fix the state annotations and utterances in the original version of the data. Our correction process results in changes to over 32% of state annotations across 40% of the dialogue turns. In addition, we fix 146 dialogue utterances throughout the dataset focusing in particular on addressing slot value errors represented within the conversations. We then benchmark a number of state-of-the-art dialogue state tracking models on this new MultiWOZ 2.1 dataset and show joint state tracking performance on the corrected state annotations. We are publicly releasing MultiWOZ 2.1 to the community, hoping that this dataset resource will allow for more effective dialogue state tracking models to be built in the future.
The goal of dialogue state tracking (DST) is to predict the current dialogue state given all previous dialogue contexts. Existing approaches generally predict the dialogue state at every turn from scratch. However, the overwhelming majority of the slots in each turn should simply inherit the slot values from the previous turn. Therefore, the mechanism of treating slots equally in each turn not only is inefficient but also may lead to additional errors because of the redundant slot value generation. To address this problem, we devise the two-stage DSS-DST which consists of the Dual Slot Selector based on the current turn dialogue, and the Slot Value Generator based on the dialogue history. The Dual Slot Selector determines each slot whether to update slot value or to inherit the slot value from the previous turn from two aspects: (1) if there is a strong relationship between it and the current turn dialogue utterances; (2) if a slot value with high reliability can be obtained for it through the current turn dialogue. The slots selected to be updated are permitted to enter the Slot Value Generator to update values by a hybrid method, while the other slots directly inherit the values from the previous turn. Empirical results show that our method achieves 56.93%, 60.73%, and 58.04% joint accuracy on MultiWOZ 2.0, MultiWOZ 2.1, and MultiWOZ 2.2 datasets respectively and achieves a new state-of-the-art performance with significant improvements.