Conversational Recommender System (CRS) aims to explicitly acquire user preferences towards items and attributes through natural language conversations. However, existing CRS methods ask users to provide explicit answers (yes/no) for each attribute they require, regardless of users’ knowledge or interest, which may significantly reduce the user experience and semantic consistency. Furthermore, these methods assume that users like all attributes of the target item and dislike those unrelated to it, which can introduce bias in attribute-level feedback and impede the system’s ability to accurately identify the target item. To address these issues, we propose a more realistic, user-friendly, and explainable CRS framework called Hierarchical User-Interest Tracking for Conversational Recommender System (HutCRS). HutCRS portrays the conversation as a hierarchical interest tree that consists of two stages. In stage I, the system identifies the aspects that the user prefers while the system asks about attributes related to these positive aspects or recommends items in stage II. In addition, we develop a Hierarchical-Interest Policy Learning (HIPL) module to integrate the decision-making process of which aspects to ask and when to ask about attributes or recommend items. Moreover, we classify the attribute-level feedback results to further enhance the system’s ability to capture special information, such as attribute instances that are accepted by users but not presented in their historical interactive data. Extensive experiments on four benchmark datasets demonstrate the superiority of our method. The implementation of HutCRS is publicly available at https://github.com/xinle1129/HutCRS.

In this paper, we revisit the solving bias when evaluating models on current Math Word Problem (MWP) benchmarks. However, current solvers exist solving bias which consists of data bias and learning bias due to biased dataset and improper training strategy. Our experiments verify MWP solvers are easy to be biased by the biased training datasets which do not cover diverse questions for each problem narrative of all MWPs, thus a solver can only learn shallow heuristics rather than deep semantics for understanding problems. Besides, an MWP can be naturally solved by multiple equivalent equations while current datasets take only one of the equivalent equations as ground truth, forcing the model to match the labeled ground truth and ignoring other equivalent equations. Here, we first introduce a novel MWP dataset named UnbiasedMWP which is constructed by varying the grounded expressions in our collected data and annotating them with corresponding multiple new questions manually. Then, to further mitigate learning bias, we propose a Dynamic Target Selection (DTS) Strategy to dynamically select more suitable target expressions according to the longest prefix match between the current model output and candidate equivalent equations which are obtained by applying commutative law during training. The results show that our UnbiasedMWP has significantly fewer biases than its original data and other datasets, posing a promising benchmark for fairly evaluating the solvers’ reasoning skills rather than matching nearest neighbors. And the solvers trained with our DTS achieve higher accuracies on multiple MWP benchmarks. The source code is available at https://github.com/yangzhch6/UnbiasedMWP.

Recently, deep learning models have made great progress in MWP solving on answer accuracy. However, they are uninterpretable since they mainly rely on shallow heuristics to achieve high performance without understanding and reasoning the grounded math logic. To address this issue and make a step towards interpretable MWP solving, we first construct a high-quality MWP dataset named InterMWP which consists of 11,495 MWPs and annotates interpretable logical formulas based on algebraic knowledge as the grounded linguistic logic of each solution equation. Different from existing MWP datasets, our InterMWP benchmark asks for a solver to not only output the solution expressions but also predict the corresponding logical formulas. We further propose a novel approach with logical prompt and interpretation generation, called LogicSolver. For each MWP, our LogicSolver first retrieves some highly-correlated algebraic knowledge and then passes them to the backbone model as prompts to improve the semantic representations of MWPs. With these improved semantic representations, our LogicSolver generates corresponding solution expressions and interpretable knowledge formulas in accord with the generated solution expressions, simultaneously. Experimental results show that our LogicSolver has stronger logical formula-based interpretability than baselines while achieving higher answer accuracy with the help of logical prompts, simultaneously. The source code and dataset will be available at https://github.com/yangzhch6/InterMWP.

Aiming to ensure chatbot quality by predicting chatbot failure and enabling human-agent collaboration, Machine-Human Chatting Handoff (MHCH) has attracted lots of attention from both industry and academia in recent years. However, most existing methods mainly focus on the dialogue context or assist with global satisfaction prediction based on multi-task learning, which ignore the grounded relationships among the causal variables, like the user state and labor cost. These variables are significantly associated with handoff decisions, resulting in prediction bias and cost increasement. Therefore, we propose Causal-Enhance Module (CEM) by establishing the causal graph of MHCH based on these two variables, which is a simple yet effective module and can be easy to plug into the existing MHCH methods. For the impact of users, we use the user state to correct the prediction bias according to the causal relationship of multi-task. For the labor cost, we train an auxiliary cost simulator to calculate unbiased labor cost through counterfactual learning so that a model becomes cost-aware.Extensive experiments conducted on four real-world benchmarks demonstrate the effectiveness of CEM in generally improving the performance of existing MHCH methods without any elaborated model crafting.

Geometry problem solving is a well-recognized testbed for evaluating the high-level multi-modal reasoning capability of deep models. In most existing works, two main geometry problems: calculation and proving, are usually treated as two specific tasks, hindering a deep model to unify its reasoning capability on multiple math tasks. However, in essence, these two tasks have similar problem representations and overlapped math knowledge which can improve the understanding and reasoning ability of a deep model on both two tasks. Therefore, we construct a large-scale Unified Geometry problem benchmark, UniGeo, which contains 4,998 calculation problems and 9,543 proving problems. Each proving problem is annotated with a multi-step proof with reasons and mathematical expressions. The proof can be easily reformulated as a proving sequence that shares the same formats with the annotated program sequence for calculation problems. Naturally, we also present a unified multi-task Geometric Transformer framework, Geoformer, to tackle calculation and proving problems simultaneously in the form of sequence generation, which finally shows the reasoning ability can be improved on both two tasks by unifying formulation. Furthermore, we propose a Mathematical Expression Pretraining (MEP) method that aims to predict the mathematical expressions in the problem solution, thus improving the Geoformer model. Experiments on the UniGeo demonstrate that our proposed Geoformer obtains state-of-the-art performance by outperforming task-specific model NGS with over 5.6% and 3.2% accuracies on calculation and proving problems, respectively.

Previous math word problem solvers following the encoder-decoder paradigm fail to explicitly incorporate essential math symbolic constraints, leading to unexplainable and unreasonable predictions. Herein, we propose Neural-Symbolic Solver (NS-Solver) to explicitly and seamlessly incorporate different levels of symbolic constraints by auxiliary tasks. Our NS-Solver consists of a problem reader to encode problems, a programmer to generate symbolic equations, and a symbolic executor to obtain answers. Along with target expression supervision, our solver is also optimized via 4 new auxiliary objectives to enforce different symbolic reasoning: a) self-supervised number prediction task predicting both number quantity and number locations; b) commonsense constant prediction task predicting what prior knowledge (e.g. how many legs a chicken has) is required; c) program consistency checker computing the semantic loss between predicted equation and target equation to ensure reasonable equation mapping; d) duality exploiting task exploiting the quasi-duality between symbolic equation generation and problem’s part-of-speech generation to enhance the understanding ability of a solver. Besides, to provide a more realistic and challenging benchmark for developing a universal and scalable solver, we also construct a new largescale MWP benchmark CM17K consisting of 4 kinds of MWPs (arithmetic, one-unknown linear, one-unknown non-linear, equation set) with more than 17K samples. Extensive experiments on Math23K and our CM17k demonstrate the superiority of our NS-Solver compared to state-of-the-art methods.

A practical automatic textual math word problems (MWPs) solver should be able to solve various textual MWPs while most existing works only focused on one-unknown linear MWPs. Herein, we propose a simple but efficient method called Universal Expression Tree (UET) to make the first attempt to represent the equations of various MWPs uniformly. Then a semantically-aligned universal tree-structured solver (SAU-Solver) based on an encoder-decoder framework is proposed to resolve multiple types of MWPs in a unified model, benefiting from our UET representation. Our SAU-Solver generates a universal expression tree explicitly by deciding which symbol to generate according to the generated symbols’ semantic meanings like human solving MWPs. Besides, our SAU-Solver also includes a novel subtree-level semanticallyaligned regularization to further enforce the semantic constraints and rationality of the generated expression tree by aligning with the contextual information. Finally, to validate the universality of our solver and extend the research boundary of MWPs, we introduce a new challenging Hybrid Math Word Problems dataset (HMWP), consisting of three types of MWPs. Experimental results on several MWPs datasets show that our model can solve universal types of MWPs and outperforms several state-of-the-art models.

Automatically evaluating dialogue coherence is a challenging but high-demand ability for developing high-quality open-domain dialogue systems. However, current evaluation metrics consider only surface features or utterance-level semantics, without explicitly considering the fine-grained topic transition dynamics of dialogue flows. Here, we first consider that the graph structure constituted with topics in a dialogue can accurately depict the underlying communication logic, which is a more natural way to produce persuasive metrics. Capitalized on the topic-level dialogue graph, we propose a new evaluation metric GRADE, which stands for Graph-enhanced Representations for Automatic Dialogue Evaluation. Specifically, GRADE incorporates both coarse-grained utterance-level contextualized representations and fine-grained topic-level graph representations to evaluate dialogue coherence. The graph representations are obtained by reasoning over topic-level dialogue graphs enhanced with the evidence from a commonsense graph, including k-hop neighboring representations and hop-attention weights. Experimental results show that our GRADE significantly outperforms other state-of-the-art metrics on measuring diverse dialogue models in terms of the Pearson and Spearman correlations with human judgments. Besides, we release a new large-scale human evaluation benchmark to facilitate future research on automatic metrics.