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Towards Coherent and Engaging Spoken Dialog Response Generation Using Automatic Conversation Evaluators

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

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.


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.


Self-Attentional Models Application in Task-Oriented Dialogue Generation Systems

arXiv.org Machine Learning

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.


Ensemble-Based Deep Reinforcement Learning for Chatbots

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Such an agent is typically characterised by: (i) a finite set of states 6 S {s i} that describe all possible situations in the environment; (ii) a finite set of actions A {a j} to change in the environment from one situation to another; (iii) a state transition function T (s,a,s null) that specifies the next state s null for having taken action a in the current state s; (iv) a reward function R (s,a,s null) that specifies a numerical value given to the agent for taking action a in state s and transitioning to state s null; and (v) a policy π: S A that defines a mapping from states to actions [2, 30]. The goal of a reinforcement learning agent is to find an optimal policy by maximising its cumulative discounted reward defined as Q (s,a) max π E[r t γr t 1 γ 2 r t 1 ... s t s,a t a,π ], where function Q represents the maximum sum of rewards r t discounted by factor γ at each time step. While a reinforcement learning agent takes actions with probability Pr ( a s) during training, it selects the best action at test time according to π (s) arg max a A Q (s,a). A deep reinforcement learning agent approximates Q using a multi-layer neural network [31]. The Q function is parameterised as Q(s,a; θ), where θ are the parameters or weights of the neural network (recurrent neural network in our case). Estimating these weights requires a dataset of learning experiences D {e 1,...e N} (also referred to as'experience replay memory'), where every experience is described as a tuple e t ( s t,a t,r t,s t 1). Inducing a Q function consists in applying Q-learning updates over minibatches of experience MB {( s,a,r,s null) U (D)} drawn uniformly at random from the full dataset D . This process is implemented in learning algorithms using Deep Q-Networks (DQN) such as those described in [31, 32, 33], and the following section describes a DQN-based algorithm for human-chatbot interaction.


AI-Powered Text Generation for Harmonious Human-Machine Interaction: Current State and Future Directions

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

In the last two decades, the landscape of text generation has undergone tremendous changes and is being reshaped by the success of deep learning. New technologies for text generation ranging from template-based methods to neural network-based methods emerged. Meanwhile, the research objectives have also changed from generating smooth and coherent sentences to infusing personalized traits to enrich the diversification of newly generated content. With the rapid development of text generation solutions, one comprehensive survey is urgent to summarize the achievements and track the state of the arts. In this survey paper, we present the general systematical framework, illustrate the widely utilized models and summarize the classic applications of text generation.