Improving Named Entity Recognition in Spoken Dialog Systems by Context and Speech Pattern Modeling

Minh Nguyen, Zhou Yu


Abstract
While named entity recognition (NER) from speech has been around as long as NER from written text has, the accuracy of NER from speech has generally been much lower than that of NER from text. The rise in popularity of spoken dialog systems such as Siri or Alexa highlights the need for more accurate NER from speech because NER is a core component for understanding what users said in dialogs. Deployed spoken dialog systems receive user input in the form of automatic speech recognition (ASR) transcripts, and simply applying NER model trained on written text to ASR transcripts often leads to low accuracy because compared to written text, ASR transcripts lack important cues such as punctuation and capitalization. Besides, errors in ASR transcripts also make NER from speech challenging. We propose two models that exploit dialog context and speech pattern clues to extract named entities more accurately from open-domain dialogs in spoken dialog systems. Our results show the benefit of modeling dialog context and speech patterns in two settings: a standard setting with random partition of data and a more realistic but also more difficult setting where many named entities encountered during deployment are unseen during training.
Anthology ID:
2021.sigdial-1.6
Volume:
Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Special Interest Group on Discourse and Dialogue
Month:
July
Year:
2021
Address:
Singapore and Online
Venue:
SIGDIAL
SIG:
SIGDIAL
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
45–55
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/2021.sigdial-1.6
DOI:
Bibkey:
Cite (ACL):
Minh Nguyen and Zhou Yu. 2021. Improving Named Entity Recognition in Spoken Dialog Systems by Context and Speech Pattern Modeling. In Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Special Interest Group on Discourse and Dialogue, pages 45–55, Singapore and Online. Association for Computational Linguistics.
Cite (Informal):
Improving Named Entity Recognition in Spoken Dialog Systems by Context and Speech Pattern Modeling (Nguyen & Yu, SIGDIAL 2021)
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PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/2021.sigdial-1.6.pdf
Video:
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIGvcylPvPI