Doyen Sahoo


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BiST: Bi-directional Spatio-Temporal Reasoning for Video-Grounded Dialogues
Hung Le | Doyen Sahoo | Nancy Chen | Steven C.H. Hoi
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Video-grounded dialogues are very challenging due to (i) the complexity of videos which contain both spatial and temporal variations, and (ii) the complexity of user utterances which query different segments and/or different objects in videos over multiple dialogue turns. However, existing approaches to video-grounded dialogues often focus on superficial temporal-level visual cues, but neglect more fine-grained spatial signals from videos. To address this drawback, we proposed Bi-directional Spatio-Temporal Learning (BiST), a vision-language neural framework for high-resolution queries in videos based on textual cues. Specifically, our approach not only exploits both spatial and temporal-level information, but also learns dynamic information diffusion between the two feature spaces through spatial-to-temporal and temporal-to-spatial reasoning. The bidirectional strategy aims to tackle the evolving semantics of user queries in the dialogue setting. The retrieved visual cues are used as contextual information to construct relevant responses to the users. Our empirical results and comprehensive qualitative analysis show that BiST achieves competitive performance and generates reasonable responses on a large-scale AVSD benchmark. We also adapt our BiST models to the Video QA setting, and substantially outperform prior approaches on the TGIF-QA benchmark.

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UniConv: A Unified Conversational Neural Architecture for Multi-domain Task-oriented Dialogues
Hung Le | Doyen Sahoo | Chenghao Liu | Nancy Chen | Steven C.H. Hoi
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Building an end-to-end conversational agent for multi-domain task-oriented dialogues has been an open challenge for two main reasons. First, tracking dialogue states of multiple domains is non-trivial as the dialogue agent must obtain complete states from all relevant domains, some of which might have shared slots among domains as well as unique slots specifically for one domain only. Second, the dialogue agent must also process various types of information across domains, including dialogue context, dialogue states, and database, to generate natural responses to users. Unlike the existing approaches that are often designed to train each module separately, we propose “UniConv” - a novel unified neural architecture for end-to-end conversational systems in multi-domain task-oriented dialogues, which is designed to jointly train (i) a Bi-level State Tracker which tracks dialogue states by learning signals at both slot and domain level independently, and (ii) a Joint Dialogue Act and Response Generator which incorporates information from various input components and models dialogue acts and target responses simultaneously. We conduct comprehensive experiments in dialogue state tracking, context-to-text, and end-to-end settings on the MultiWOZ2.1 benchmark, achieving superior performance over competitive baselines.


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Multimodal Transformer Networks for End-to-End Video-Grounded Dialogue Systems
Hung Le | Doyen Sahoo | Nancy Chen | Steven Hoi
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Developing Video-Grounded Dialogue Systems (VGDS), where a dialogue is conducted based on visual and audio aspects of a given video, is significantly more challenging than traditional image or text-grounded dialogue systems because (1) feature space of videos span across multiple picture frames, making it difficult to obtain semantic information; and (2) a dialogue agent must perceive and process information from different modalities (audio, video, caption, etc.) to obtain a comprehensive understanding. Most existing work is based on RNNs and sequence-to-sequence architectures, which are not very effective for capturing complex long-term dependencies (like in videos). To overcome this, we propose Multimodal Transformer Networks (MTN) to encode videos and incorporate information from different modalities. We also propose query-aware attention through an auto-encoder to extract query-aware features from non-text modalities. We develop a training procedure to simulate token-level decoding to improve the quality of generated responses during inference. We get state of the art performance on Dialogue System Technology Challenge 7 (DSTC7). Our model also generalizes to another multimodal visual-grounded dialogue task, and obtains promising performance.