Task-oriented dialogue systems are either modularized with separate dialogue state tracking (DST) and management steps or end-to-end trainable. In either case, the knowledge base (KB) plays an essential role in fulfilling user requests. Modularized systems rely on DST to interact with the KB, which is expensive in terms of annotation and inference time. End-to-end systems use the KB directly as input, but they cannot scale when the KB is larger than a few hundred entries. In this paper, we propose a method to embed the KB, of any size, directly into the model parameters. The resulting model does not require any DST or template responses, nor the KB as input, and it can dynamically update its KB via fine-tuning. We evaluate our solution in five task-oriented dialogue datasets with small, medium, and large KB size. Our experiments show that end-to-end models can effectively embed knowledge bases in their parameters and achieve competitive performance in all evaluated datasets.
In this paper, we propose to formulate the task-oriented dialogue system as the purely natural language generation task, so as to fully leverage the large-scale pre-trained models like GPT-2 and simplify complicated delexicalization prepossessing. However, directly applying this method heavily suffers from the dialogue entity inconsistency caused by the removal of delexicalized tokens, as well as the catastrophic forgetting problem of the pre-trained model during fine-tuning, leading to unsatisfactory performance. To alleviate these problems, we design a novel GPT-Adapter-CopyNet network, which incorporates the lightweight adapter and CopyNet modules into GPT-2 to achieve better performance on transfer learning and dialogue entity generation. Experimental results conducted on the DSTC8 Track 1 benchmark and MultiWOZ dataset demonstrate that our proposed approach significantly outperforms baseline models with a remarkable performance on automatic and human evaluations.
Dialogue systems are a popular Natural Language Processing (NLP) task as it is promising in real-life applications. It is also a complicated task since many NLP tasks deserving study are involved. As a result, a multitude of novel works on this task are carried out, and most of them are deep learning-based due to the outstanding performance. In this survey, we mainly focus on the deep learning-based dialogue systems. We comprehensively review state-of-the-art research outcomes in dialogue systems and analyze them from two angles: model type and system type. Specifically, from the angle of model type, we discuss the principles, characteristics, and applications of different models that are widely used in dialogue systems. This will help researchers acquaint these models and see how they are applied in state-of-the-art frameworks, which is rather helpful when designing a new dialogue system. From the angle of system type, we discuss task-oriented and open-domain dialogue systems as two streams of research, providing insight into the hot topics related. Furthermore, we comprehensively review the evaluation methods and datasets for dialogue systems to pave the way for future research. Finally, some possible research trends are identified based on the recent research outcomes. To the best of our knowledge, this survey is the most comprehensive and up-to-date one at present in the area of dialogue systems and dialogue-related tasks, extensively covering the popular frameworks, topics, and datasets. Keywords: Dialogue Systems, Chatbots, Conversational AI, Task-oriented, Open Domain, Chit-chat, Question Answering, Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing, Information Retrieval, Deep Learning, Neural Networks, CNN, RNN, Hierarchical Recurrent Encoder-Decoder, Memory Networks, Attention, Transformer, Pointer Net, CopyNet, Reinforcement Learning, GANs, Knowledge Graph, Survey, Review
Continual learning in task-oriented dialogue systems can allow us to add new domains and functionalities through time without incurring the high cost of a whole system retraining. In this paper, we propose a continual learning benchmark for task-oriented dialogue systems with 37 domains to be learned continuously in four settings, such as intent recognition, state tracking, natural language generation, and end-to-end. Moreover, we implement and compare multiple existing continual learning baselines, and we propose a simple yet effective architectural method based on residual adapters. Our experiments demonstrate that the proposed architectural method and a simple replay-based strategy perform comparably well but they both achieve inferior performance to the multi-task learning baseline, in where all the data are shown at once, showing that continual learning in task-oriented dialogue systems is a challenging task. Furthermore, we reveal several trade-offs between different continual learning methods in term of parameter usage and memory size, which are important in the design of a task-oriented dialogue system. The proposed benchmark is released together with several baselines to promote more research in this direction.
Dialogue state tracking, or estimating and keeping tabs on a person's goals throughout a multiturn conversation, is one of the ways Alexa figures out what users want. By combining conversation history with the most recent command, Amazon's intelligent assistant can better map slot names -- the price of a hotel or its star rating, for example -- to slot values, or entities mentioned in a dialogue. Alexa already performs dialogue state tracking pretty effectively, but a team of scientists at Amazon's R&D division think there's room for improvement. In a new paper ("Dialog State Tracking: A Neural Reading Comprehension Approach") scheduled to be presented at the International Speech Communication Association's Special Interest Group on Discourse and Dialogue, they propose an AI system that formulates dialogue state tracking as a classic question-answering problem. In other words, their machine learning model decides on the slot value for each slot name after reading a conversational passage.