Collaborating Authors

dialogue response generation

Local Explanation of Dialogue Response Generation Machine Learning

In comparison to the interpretation of classification models, the explanation of sequence generation models is also an important problem, however it has seen little attention. In this work, we study model-agnostic explanations of a representative text generation task -- dialogue response generation. Dialog response generation is challenging with its open-ended sentences and multiple acceptable responses. To gain insights into the reasoning process of a generation model, we propose anew method, local explanation of response generation (LERG) that regards the explanations as the mutual interaction of segments in input and output sentences. LERG views the sequence prediction as uncertainty estimation of a human response and then creates explanations by perturbing the input and calculating the certainty change over the human response. We show that LERG adheres to desired properties of explanations for text generation including unbiased approximation, consistency and cause identification. Empirically, our results show that our method consistently improves other widely used methods on proposed automatic- and human- evaluation metrics for this new task by 4.4-12.8%. Our analysis demonstrates that LERG can extract both explicit and implicit relations between input and output segments.

12th Asian Conference on Machine Learning


Last week saw the virtual running of the 12th Asian Conference on Machine Learning (ACML). The event had been due to be held in Thailand, but instead went online and the organisers decided to make all content freely available. You can watch all of the invited talks, tutorials, workshops, and video presentations of the contributed papers. Also, find out who won the conference awards. There were four invited speakers: Suriya Gunasekar (Microsoft Research, USA) Rethinking the role of optimization in learning This talk presented an overview of recent results towards understanding how we learn large capacity machine learning models.

Diversifying Task-oriented Dialogue Response Generation with Prototype Guided Paraphrasing Artificial Intelligence

Existing methods for Dialogue Response Generation (DRG) in Task-oriented Dialogue Systems (TDSs) can be grouped into two categories: template-based and corpus-based. The former prepare a collection of response templates in advance and fill the slots with system actions to produce system responses at runtime. The latter generate system responses token by token by taking system actions into account. While template-based DRG provides high precision and highly predictable responses, they usually lack in terms of generating diverse and natural responses when compared to (neural) corpus-based approaches. Conversely, while corpus-based DRG methods are able to generate natural responses, we cannot guarantee their precision or predictability. Moreover, the diversity of responses produced by today's corpus-based DRG methods is still limited. We propose to combine the merits of template-based and corpus-based DRGs by introducing a prototype-based, paraphrasing neural network, called P2-Net, which aims to enhance quality of the responses in terms of both precision and diversity. Instead of generating a response from scratch, P2-Net generates system responses by paraphrasing template-based responses. To guarantee the precision of responses, P2-Net learns to separate a response into its semantics, context influence, and paraphrasing noise, and to keep the semantics unchanged during paraphrasing. To introduce diversity, P2-Net randomly samples previous conversational utterances as prototypes, from which the model can then extract speaking style information. We conduct extensive experiments on the MultiWOZ dataset with both automatic and human evaluations. The results show that P2-Net achieves a significant improvement in diversity while preserving the semantics of responses.

Retrospective and Prospective Mixture-of-Generators for Task-oriented Dialogue Response Generation Artificial Intelligence

Dialogue response generation (DRG) is a critical component of task-oriented dialogue systems (TDSs). Its purpose is to generate proper natural language responses given some context, e.g., historical utterances, system states, etc. State-of-the-art work focuses on how to better tackle DRG in an end-to-end way. Typically, such studies assume that each token is drawn from a single distribution over the output vocabulary, which may not always be optimal. Responses vary greatly with different intents, e.g., domains, system actions. We propose a novel mixture-of-generators network (MoGNet) for DRG, where we assume that each token of a response is drawn from a mixture of distributions. MoGNet consists of a chair generator and several expert generators. Each expert is specialized for DRG w.r.t. a particular intent. The chair coordinates multiple experts and combines the output they have generated to produce more appropriate responses. We propose two strategies to help the chair make better decisions, namely, a retrospective mixture-of-generators (RMoG) and prospective mixture-of-generators (PMoG). The former only considers the historical expert-generated responses until the current time step while the latter also considers possible expert-generated responses in the future by encouraging exploration. In order to differentiate experts, we also devise a global-and-local (GL) learning scheme that forces each expert to be specialized towards a particular intent using a local loss and trains the chair and all experts to coordinate using a global loss. We carry out extensive experiments on the MultiWOZ benchmark dataset. MoGNet significantly outperforms state-of-the-art methods in terms of both automatic and human evaluations, demonstrating its effectiveness for DRG.

Mechanism-Aware Neural Machine for Dialogue Response Generation

AAAI Conferences

To the same utterance, people's responses in everyday dialogue may be diverse largely in terms of content semantics, speaking styles, communication intentions and so on. Previous generative conversational models ignore these 1-to-n relationships between a post to its diverse responses, and tend to return high-frequency but meaningless responses. In this study we propose a mechanism-aware neural machine for dialogue response generation. It assumes that there exists some latent responding mechanisms, each of which can generate different responses for a single input post. With this assumption we model different responding mechanisms as latent embeddings, and develop a encoder-diverter-decoder framework to train its modules in an end-to-end fashion. With the learned latent mechanisms, for the first time these decomposed modules can be used to encode the input into mechanism-aware context, and decode the responses with the controlled generation styles and topics. Finally, the experiments with human judgements, intuitive examples, detailed discussions demonstrate the quality and diversity of the generated responses with 9.80% increase of acceptable ratio over the best of six baseline methods.