Discern: Discourse-Aware Entailment Reasoning Network for Conversational Machine Reading

Yifan Gao, Chien-Sheng Wu, Jingjing Li, Shafiq Joty, Steven C.H. Hoi, Caiming Xiong, Irwin King, Michael Lyu


Abstract
Document interpretation and dialog understanding are the two major challenges for conversational machine reading. In this work, we propose “Discern”, a discourse-aware entailment reasoning network to strengthen the connection and enhance the understanding of both document and dialog. Specifically, we split the document into clause-like elementary discourse units (EDU) using a pre-trained discourse segmentation model, and we train our model in a weakly-supervised manner to predict whether each EDU is entailed by the user feedback in a conversation. Based on the learned EDU and entailment representations, we either reply to the user our final decision “yes/no/irrelevant” of the initial question, or generate a follow-up question to inquiry more information. Our experiments on the ShARC benchmark (blind, held-out test set) show that Discern achieves state-of-the-art results of 78.3% macro-averaged accuracy on decision making and 64.0 BLEU1 on follow-up question generation. Code and models are released at https://github.com/Yifan-Gao/Discern.
Anthology ID:
2020.emnlp-main.191
Volume:
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)
Month:
November
Year:
2020
Address:
Online
Venue:
EMNLP
SIG:
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
2439–2449
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/2020.emnlp-main.191
DOI:
10.18653/v1/2020.emnlp-main.191
Bibkey:
Cite (ACL):
Yifan Gao, Chien-Sheng Wu, Jingjing Li, Shafiq Joty, Steven C.H. Hoi, Caiming Xiong, Irwin King, and Michael Lyu. 2020. Discern: Discourse-Aware Entailment Reasoning Network for Conversational Machine Reading. In Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP), pages 2439–2449, Online. Association for Computational Linguistics.
Cite (Informal):
Discern: Discourse-Aware Entailment Reasoning Network for Conversational Machine Reading (Gao et al., EMNLP 2020)
Copy Citation:
PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/2020.emnlp-main.191.pdf
Video:
 https://slideslive.com/38938953
Code
 Yifan-Gao/Discern
Data
ShARC