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Task-oriented Dialogue Systems: performance vs. quality-optima, a review

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Task-oriented dialogue systems (TODS) are continuing to rise in popularity as various industries find ways to effectively harness their capabilities, saving both time and money. However, even state-of-the-art TODS are not yet reaching their full potential. TODS typically have a primary design focus on completing the task at hand, so the metric of task-resolution should take priority. Other conversational quality attributes that may point to the success, or otherwise, of the dialogue, may be ignored. This can cause interactions between human and dialogue system that leave the user dissatisfied or frustrated. This paper explores the literature on evaluative frameworks of dialogue systems and the role of conversational quality attributes in dialogue systems, looking at if, how, and where they are utilised, and examining their correlation with the performance of the dialogue system.


A Review of Dialogue Systems: From Trained Monkeys to Stochastic Parrots

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

In spoken dialogue systems, we aim to deploy artificial intelligence to build automated dialogue agents that can converse with humans. Dialogue systems are increasingly being designed to move beyond just imitating conversation and also improve from such interactions over time. In this survey, we present a broad overview of methods developed to build dialogue systems over the years. Different use cases for dialogue systems ranging from task-based systems to open domain chatbots motivate and necessitate specific systems. Starting from simple rule-based systems, research has progressed towards increasingly complex architectures trained on a massive corpus of datasets, like deep learning systems. Motivated with the intuition of resembling human dialogues, progress has been made towards incorporating emotions into the natural language generator, using reinforcement learning. While we see a trend of highly marginal improvement on some metrics, we find that limited justification exists for the metrics, and evaluation practices are not uniform. To conclude, we flag these concerns and highlight possible research directions.


Recent advances in conversational NLP : Towards the standardization of Chatbot building

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Dialogue systems have become recently essential in our life. Their use is getting more and more fluid and easy throughout the time. This boils down to the improvements made in NLP and AI fields. In this paper, we try to provide an overview to the current state of the art of dialogue systems, their categories and the different approaches to build them. We end up with a discussion that compares all the techniques and analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of each. Finally, we present an opinion piece suggesting to orientate the research towards the standardization of dialogue systems building.


Report from the NSF Future Directions Workshop, Toward User-Oriented Agents: Research Directions and Challenges

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

This USER Workshop was convened with the goal of defining future research directions for the burgeoning intelligent agent research community and to communicate them to the National Science Foundation. It took place in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania on October 24 and 25, 2019 and was sponsored by National Science Foundation Grant Number IIS-1934222. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or future directions expressed in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. The 27 participants presented their individual research interests and their personal research goals. In the breakout sessions that followed, the participants defined the main research areas within the domain of intelligent agents and they discussed the major future directions that the research in each area of this domain should take.


Survey on Evaluation Methods for Dialogue Systems

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

In this paper we survey the methods and concepts developed for the evaluation of dialogue systems. Evaluation is a crucial part during the development process. Often, dialogue systems are evaluated by means of human evaluations and questionnaires. However, this tends to be very cost and time intensive. Thus, much work has been put into finding methods, which allow to reduce the involvement of human labour. In this survey, we present the main concepts and methods. For this, we differentiate between the various classes of dialogue systems (task-oriented dialogue systems, conversational dialogue systems, and question-answering dialogue systems). We cover each class by introducing the main technologies developed for the dialogue systems and then by presenting the evaluation methods regarding this class.