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MedDG: A Large-scale Medical Consultation Dataset for Building Medical Dialogue System

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Developing conversational agents to interact with patients and provide primary clinical advice has attracted increasing attention due to its huge application potential, especially in the time of COVID-19 Pandemic. However, the training of end-to-end neural-based medical dialogue system is restricted by an insufficient quantity of medical dialogue corpus. In this work, we make the first attempt to build and release a large-scale high-quality Medical Dialogue dataset related to 12 types of common Gastrointestinal diseases named MedDG, with more than 17K conversations collected from the online health consultation community. Five different categories of entities, including diseases, symptoms, attributes, tests, and medicines, are annotated in each conversation of MedDG as additional labels. To push forward the future research on building expert-sensitive medical dialogue system, we proposes two kinds of medical dialogue tasks based on MedDG dataset. One is the next entity prediction and the other is the doctor response generation. To acquire a clear comprehension on these two medical dialogue tasks, we implement several state-of-the-art benchmarks, as well as design two dialogue models with a further consideration on the predicted entities. Experimental results show that the pre-train language models and other baselines struggle on both tasks with poor performance in our dataset, and the response quality can be enhanced with the help of auxiliary entity information. From human evaluation, the simple retrieval model outperforms several state-of-the-art generative models, indicating that there still remains a large room for improvement on generating medically meaningful responses.


Incorporating Joint Embeddings into Goal-Oriented Dialogues with Multi-Task Learning

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Attention-based encoder-decoder neural network models have recently shown promising results in goal-oriented dialogue systems. However, these models struggle to reason over and incorporate state-full knowledge while preserving their end-to-end text generation functionality. Since such models can greatly benefit from user intent and knowledge graph integration, in this paper we propose an RNN-based end-to-end encoder-decoder architecture which is trained with joint embeddings of the knowledge graph and the corpus as input. The model provides an additional integration of user intent along with text generation, trained with a multi-task learning paradigm along with an additional regularization technique to penalize generating the wrong entity as output. The model further incorporates a Knowledge Graph entity lookup during inference to guarantee the generated output is state-full based on the local knowledge graph provided. We finally evaluated the model using the BLEU score, empirical evaluation depicts that our proposed architecture can aid in the betterment of task-oriented dialogue system`s performance.


Bilateral Personalized Dialogue Generation with Dynamic Persona-Aware Fusion

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Generating personalized responses is one of the major challenges in natural human-robot interaction. Current researches in this field mainly focus on generating responses consistent with the robot's pre-assigned persona, while ignoring the user's persona. Such responses may be inappropriate or even offensive, which may lead to the bad user experience. Therefore, we propose a bilateral personalized dialogue generation (BPDG) method with dynamic persona-aware fusion via multi-task transfer learning to generate responses consistent with both personas. The proposed method aims to accomplish three learning tasks: 1) an encoder is trained with dialogue utterances added with corresponded personalized attributes and relative position (language model task), 2) a dynamic persona-aware fusion module predicts the persona presence to adaptively fuse the contextual and bilateral personas encodings (persona prediction task) and 3) a decoder generates natural, fluent and personalized responses (dialogue generation task). To make the generated responses more personalized and bilateral persona-consistent, the Conditional Mutual Information Maximum (CMIM) criterion is adopted to select the final response from the generated candidates. The experimental results show that the proposed method outperforms several state-of-the-art methods in terms of both automatic and manual evaluations.


M^2-MedDialog: A Dataset and Benchmarks for Multi-domain Multi-service Medical Dialogues

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Medical dialogue systems (MDSs) aim to assist doctors and patients with a range of professional medical services, i.e., diagnosis, consultation, and treatment. However, one-stop MDS is still unexplored because: (1) no dataset has so large-scale dialogues contains both multiple medical services and fine-grained medical labels (i.e., intents, slots, values); (2) no model has addressed a MDS based on multiple-service conversations in a unified framework. In this work, we first build a Multiple-domain Multiple-service medical dialogue (M^2-MedDialog)dataset, which contains 1,557 conversations between doctors and patients, covering 276 types of diseases, 2,468 medical entities, and 3 specialties of medical services. To the best of our knowledge, it is the only medical dialogue dataset that includes both multiple medical services and fine-grained medical labels. Then, we formulate a one-stop MDS as a sequence-to-sequence generation problem. We unify a MDS with causal language modeling and conditional causal language modeling, respectively. Specifically, we employ several pretrained models (i.e., BERT-WWM, BERT-MED, GPT2, and MT5) and their variants to get benchmarks on M^2-MedDialog dataset. We also propose pseudo labeling and natural perturbation methods to expand M2-MedDialog dataset and enhance the state-of-the-art pretrained models. We demonstrate the results achieved by the benchmarks so far through extensive experiments on M2-MedDialog. We release the dataset, the code, as well as the evaluation scripts to facilitate future research in this important research direction.


Task-Oriented Dialogue System as Natural Language Generation

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

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.