Learning to Control the Specificity in Neural Response Generation

Ruqing Zhang, Jiafeng Guo, Yixing Fan, Yanyan Lan, Jun Xu, Xueqi Cheng


Abstract
In conversation, a general response (e.g., “I don’t know”) could correspond to a large variety of input utterances. Previous generative conversational models usually employ a single model to learn the relationship between different utterance-response pairs, thus tend to favor general and trivial responses which appear frequently. To address this problem, we propose a novel controlled response generation mechanism to handle different utterance-response relationships in terms of specificity. Specifically, we introduce an explicit specificity control variable into a sequence-to-sequence model, which interacts with the usage representation of words through a Gaussian Kernel layer, to guide the model to generate responses at different specificity levels. We describe two ways to acquire distant labels for the specificity control variable in learning. Empirical studies show that our model can significantly outperform the state-of-the-art response generation models under both automatic and human evaluations.
Anthology ID:
P18-1102
Volume:
Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)
Month:
July
Year:
2018
Address:
Melbourne, Australia
Venue:
ACL
SIG:
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
1108–1117
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/P18-1102
DOI:
10.18653/v1/P18-1102
Bibkey:
Cite (ACL):
Ruqing Zhang, Jiafeng Guo, Yixing Fan, Yanyan Lan, Jun Xu, and Xueqi Cheng. 2018. Learning to Control the Specificity in Neural Response Generation. In Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers), pages 1108–1117, Melbourne, Australia. Association for Computational Linguistics.
Cite (Informal):
Learning to Control the Specificity in Neural Response Generation (Zhang et al., ACL 2018)
Copy Citation:
PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/P18-1102.pdf
Presentation:
 P18-1102.Presentation.pdf
Video:
 https://vimeo.com/285802316