Encoder-decoder based neural architectures serve as the basis of state-of-the-art approaches in end-to-end open domain dialog systems. Since most of such systems are trained with a maximum likelihood(MLE) objective they suffer from issues such as lack of generalizability and the generic response problem, i.e., a system response that can be an answer to a large number of user utterances, e.g., "Maybe, I don't know." Having explicit feedback on the relevance and interestingness of a system response at each turn can be a useful signal for mitigating such issues and improving system quality by selecting responses from different approaches. Towards this goal, we present a system that evaluates chatbot responses at each dialog turn for coherence and engagement. Our system provides explicit turn-level dialog quality feedback, which we show to be highly correlated with human evaluation. To show that incorporating this feedback in the neural response generation models improves dialog quality, we present two different and complementary mechanisms to incorporate explicit feedback into a neural response generation model: reranking and direct modification of the loss function during training. Our studies show that a response generation model that incorporates these combined feedback mechanisms produce more engaging and coherent responses in an open-domain spoken dialog setting, significantly improving the response quality using both automatic and human evaluation.
Dialogue systems, also called chatbots, are now used in a wide range of applications. However, they still have some major weaknesses. One key weakness is that they are typically trained from manually-labeled data and/or written with handcrafted rules, and their knowledge bases (KBs) are also compiled by human experts. Due to the huge amount of manual effort involved, they are difficult to scale and also tend to produce many errors ought to their limited ability to understand natural language and the limited knowledge in their KBs. Thus, the level of user satisfactory is often low. In this paper, we propose to dramatically improve this situation by endowing the system the ability to continually learn (1) new world knowledge, (2) new language expressions to ground them to actions, and (3) new conversational skills, during conversation or "on the job" by themselves so that as the systems chat more and more with users, they become more and more knowledgeable and are better and better able to understand diverse natural language expressions and improve their conversational skills. A key approach to achieving these is to exploit the multi-user environment of such systems to self-learn through interactions with users via verb and non-verb means. The paper discusses not only key challenges and promising directions to learn from users during conversation but also how to ensure the correctness of the learned knowledge.
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.
Intelligent Conversational Agent development using Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning technique is an interesting problem in the field of Natural Language Processing. In many research projects, they are using Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning algorithms and Natural Language Processing techniques for developing conversation/dialogue agent. In the past, methods for constructing chatbot architectures have relied on handwritten rules and templates or simple statistical methods. With the rise of deep learning, these models were quickly replaced by end-to-end trainable neural networks around 2015. More specifically, the recurrent encoder-decoder model [Cho et al., 2014] dominates the task of conversational modeling. This architecture was adapted from the neural machine translation domain, where it performs extremely well.
Self-attentional models are a new paradigm for sequence modelling tasks which differ from common sequence modelling methods, such as recurrence-based and convolution-based sequence learning, in the way that their architecture is only based on the attention mechanism. Self-attentional models have been used in the creation of the state-of-the-art models in many NLP tasks such as neural machine translation, but their usage has not been explored for the task of training end-to- end task-oriented dialogue generation systems yet. In this study, we apply these models on the three different datasets for training task-oriented chatbots. Our finding shows that self-attentional models can be exploited to create end-to-end task-oriented chatbots which not only achieve higher evaluation scores compared to recurrence-based models, but also do so more efficiently.