Carefully-designed schemas describing how to collect and annotate dialog corpora are a prerequisite towards building task-oriented dialog systems. In practical applications, manually designing schemas can be error-prone, laborious, iterative, and slow, especially when the schema is complicated. To alleviate this expensive and time consuming process, we propose an unsupervised approach for slot schema induction from unlabeled dialog corpora. Leveraging in-domain language models and unsupervised parsing structures, our data-driven approach extracts candidate slots without constraints, followed by coarse-to-fine clustering to induce slot types. We compare our method against several strong supervised baselines, and show significant performance improvement in slot schema induction on MultiWoz and SGD datasets. We also demonstrate the effectiveness of induced schemas on downstream applications including dialog state tracking and response generation.
Knowledge (including structured knowledge such as schema and ontology and unstructured knowledge such as web corpus) is a critical part of dialog understanding, especially for unseen tasks and domains. Traditionally, such domain-specific knowledge is encoded implicitly into model parameters for the execution of downstream tasks, which makes training inefficient. In addition , such models are not easily transferable to new tasks with different schemas. In this work, we propose to perform dialog state tracking grounded on knowledge encoded externally. We query relevant knowledge of various forms based on the dialog context where such information can grounds the prediction of dialog states. We demonstrate superior performance of our proposed method over strong baselines, especially in the few-shot learning setting.
There is a growing interest in creating tools to assist in clinical note generation using the audio of provider-patient encounters. Motivated by this goal and with the help of providers and medical scribes, we developed an annotation scheme to extract relevant clinical concepts. We used this annotation scheme to label a corpus of about 6k clinical encounters. This was used to train a state-of-the-art tagging model. We report ontologies, labeling results, model performances, and detailed analyses of the results. Our results show that the entities related to medications can be extracted with a relatively high accuracy of 0.90 F-score, followed by symptoms at 0.72 F-score, and conditions at 0.57 F-score. In our task, we not only identify where the symptoms are mentioned but also map them to canonical forms as they appear in the clinical notes. Of the different types of errors, in about 19-38% of the cases, we find that the model output was correct, and about 17-32% of the errors do not impact the clinical note. Taken together, the models developed in this work are more useful than the F-scores reflect, making it a promising approach for practical applications.