Dhiraj Madan


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Neural Conversational QA: Learning to Reason vs Exploiting Patterns
Nikhil Verma | Abhishek Sharma | Dhiraj Madan | Danish Contractor | Harshit Kumar | Sachindra Joshi
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Neural Conversational QA tasks such as ShARC require systems to answer questions based on the contents of a given passage. On studying recent state-of-the-art models on the ShARC QA task, we found indications that the model(s) learn spurious clues/patterns in the data-set. Further, a heuristic-based program, built to exploit these patterns, had comparative performance to that of the neural models. In this paper we share our findings about the four types of patterns in the ShARC corpus and how the neural models exploit them. Motivated by the above findings, we create and share a modified data-set that has fewer spurious patterns than the original data-set, consequently allowing models to learn better.


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Finding Dominant User Utterances And System Responses in Conversations
Dhiraj Madan | Sachindra Joshi
Proceedings of the Eighth International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

There are several dialog frameworks which allow manual specification of intents and rule based dialog flow. The rule based framework provides good control to dialog designers at the expense of being more time consuming and laborious. The job of a dialog designer can be reduced if we could identify pairs of user intents and corresponding responses automatically from prior conversations between users and agents. In this paper we propose an approach to find these frequent user utterances (which serve as examples for intents) and corresponding agent responses. We propose a novel SimCluster algorithm that extends standard K-means algorithm to simultaneously cluster user utterances and agent utterances by taking their adjacency information into account. The method also aligns these clusters to provide pairs of intents and response groups. We compare our results with those produced by using simple Kmeans clustering on a real dataset and observe upto 10% absolute improvement in F1-scores. Through our experiments on synthetic dataset, we show that our algorithm gains more advantage over K-means algorithm when the data has large variance.