Generating explanations for recommender systems is essential for improving their transparency, as users often wish to understand the reason for receiving a specified recommendation. Previous methods mainly focus on improving the generation quality, but often produce generic explanations that fail to incorporate user and item specific details. To resolve this problem, we present Multi-Scale Distribution Deep Variational Autoencoders (MVAE).These are deep hierarchical VAEs with a prior network that eliminates noise while retaining meaningful signals in the input, coupled with a recognition network serving as the source of information to guide the learning of the prior network. Further, the Multi-scale distribution Learning Framework (MLF) along with a Target Tracking Kullback-Leibler divergence (TKL) mechanism are proposed to employ multi KL divergences at different scales for more effective learning. Extensive empirical experiments demonstrate that our methods can generate explanations with concrete input-specific contents.
Despite significant progress has been achieved in text summarization, factual inconsistency in generated summaries still severely limits its practical applications. Among the key factors to ensure factual consistency, a reliable automatic evaluation metric is the first and the most crucial one. However, existing metrics either neglect the intrinsic cause of the factual inconsistency or rely on auxiliary tasks, leading to an unsatisfied correlation with human judgments or increasing the inconvenience of usage in practice. In light of these challenges, we propose a novel metric to evaluate the factual consistency in text summarization via counterfactual estimation, which formulates the causal relationship among the source document, the generated summary, and the language prior. We remove the effect of language prior, which can cause factual inconsistency, from the total causal effect on the generated summary, and provides a simple yet effective way to evaluate consistency without relying on other auxiliary tasks. We conduct a series of experiments on three public abstractive text summarization datasets, and demonstrate the advantages of the proposed metric in both improving the correlation with human judgments and the convenience of usage. The source code is available at https://github.com/xieyxclack/factual_coco.
Recent research has achieved impressive results in single-turn dialogue modelling. In the multi-turn setting, however, current models are still far from satisfactory. One major challenge is the frequently occurred coreference and information omission in our daily conversation, making it hard for machines to understand the real intention. In this paper, we propose rewriting the human utterance as a pre-process to help multi-turn dialgoue modelling. Each utterance is first rewritten to recover all coreferred and omitted information. The next processing steps are then performed based on the rewritten utterance. To properly train the utterance rewriter, we collect a new dataset with human annotations and introduce a Transformer-based utterance rewriting architecture using the pointer network. We show the proposed architecture achieves remarkably good performance on the utterance rewriting task. The trained utterance rewriter can be easily integrated into online chatbots and brings general improvement over different domains.