Communication is a cooperative effort that requires reaching mutual understanding among the participants. Humans use commonsense reasoning implicitly to produce natural and logically-coherent responses. As a step towards fluid human-AI communication, we study if response generation (RG) models can emulate human reasoning process and use common sense to help produce better-quality responses. We aim to tackle two research questions: how to formalize conversational common sense and how to examine RG models capability to use common sense? We first propose a task, CEDAR: Causal common sEnse in DiAlogue Response generation, that concretizes common sense as textual explanations for what might lead to the response and evaluates RG models behavior by comparing the modeling loss given a valid explanation with an invalid one. Then we introduce a process that automatically generates such explanations and ask humans to verify them. Finally, we design two probing settings for RG models targeting two reasoning capabilities using verified explanations. We find that RG models have a hard time determining the logical validity of explanations but can identify grammatical naturalness of the explanation easily.
Medical Dialogue Generation (MDG) is intended to build a medical dialogue system for intelligent consultation, which can communicate with patients in real-time, thereby improving the efficiency of clinical diagnosis with broad application prospects. This paper presents our proposed framework for the Chinese MDG organized by the 2021 China conference on knowledge graph and semantic computing (CCKS) competition, which requires generating context-consistent and medically meaningful responses conditioned on the dialogue history. In our framework, we propose a pipeline system composed of entity prediction and entity-aware dialogue generation, by adding predicted entities to the dialogue model with a fusion mechanism, thereby utilizing information from different sources. At the decoding stage, we propose a new decoding mechanism named Entity-revised Diverse Beam Search (EDBS) to improve entity correctness and promote the length and quality of the final response. The proposed method wins both the CCKS and the International Conference on Learning Representations (ICLR) 2021 Workshop Machine Learning for Preventing and Combating Pandemics (MLPCP) Track 1 Entity-aware MED competitions, which demonstrate the practicality and effectiveness of our method.
Dialogue systems pretrained with large language models generate locally coherent responses, but lack the fine-grained control over responses necessary to achieve specific goals. A promising method to control response generation is exemplar-based generation, in which models edit exemplar responses that are retrieved from training data, or hand-written to strategically address discourse-level goals, to fit new dialogue contexts. But, current exemplar-based approaches often excessively copy words from the exemplar responses, leading to incoherent replies. We present an Exemplar-based Dialogue Generation model, EDGE, that uses the semantic frames present in exemplar responses to guide generation. We show that controlling dialogue generation based on the semantic frames of exemplars, rather than words in the exemplar itself, improves the coherence of generated responses, while preserving semantic meaning and conversation goals present in exemplar responses.
To diversify and enrich generated dialogue responses, knowledge-grounded dialogue has been investigated in recent years. Despite the success of the existing methods, they mainly follow the paradigm of retrieving the relevant sentences over a large corpus and augment the dialogues with explicit extra information, which is time- and resource-consuming. In this paper, we propose KnowExpert, an end-to-end framework to bypass the retrieval process by injecting prior knowledge into the pre-trained language models with lightweight adapters. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first attempt to tackle this task relying solely on a generation-based approach. Experimental results show that KnowExpert performs comparably with the retrieval-based baselines, demonstrating the potential of our proposed direction.
Neural conversation models have shown great potentials towards generating fluent and informative responses by introducing external background knowledge. Nevertheless, it is laborious to construct such knowledge-grounded dialogues, and existing models usually perform poorly when transfer to new domains with limited training samples. Therefore, building a knowledge-grounded dialogue system under the low-resource setting is a still crucial issue. In this paper, we propose a novel three-stage learning framework based on weakly supervised learning which benefits from large scale ungrounded dialogues and unstructured knowledge base. To better cooperate with this framework, we devise a variant of Transformer with decoupled decoder which facilitates the disentangled learning of response generation and knowledge incorporation. Evaluation results on two benchmarks indicate that our approach can outperform other state-of-the-art methods with less training data, and even in zero-resource scenario, our approach still performs well.