Leanne Rolston


pdf bib
The economic trade-offs of large language models: A case study
Kristen Howell | Gwen Christian | Pavel Fomitchov | Gitit Kehat | Julianne Marzulla | Leanne Rolston | Jadin Tredup | Ilana Zimmerman | Ethan Selfridge | Joseph Bradley
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 5: Industry Track)

Contacting customer service via chat is a common practice. Because employing customer service agents is expensive, many companies are turning to NLP that assists human agents by auto-generating responses that can be used directly or with modifications. With their ability to handle large context windows, Large Language Models (LLMs) are a natural fit for this use case. However, their efficacy must be balanced with the cost of training and serving them. This paper assesses the practical cost and impact of LLMs for the enterprise as a function of the usefulness of the responses that they generate. We present a cost framework for evaluating an NLP model’s utility for this use case and apply it to a single brand as a case study in the context of an existing agent assistance product. We compare three strategies for specializing an LLM — prompt engineering, fine-tuning, and knowledge distillation — using feedback from the brand’s customer service agents. We find that the usability of a model’s responses can make up for a large difference in inference cost for our case study brand, and we extrapolate our findings to the broader enterprise space.


pdf bib
OpenEL: An Annotated Corpus for Entity Linking and Discourse in Open Domain Dialogue
Wen Cui | Leanne Rolston | Marilyn Walker | Beth Ann Hockey
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Entity linking in dialogue is the task of mapping entity mentions in utterances to a target knowledge base. Prior work on entity linking has mainly focused on well-written articles such as Wikipedia, annotated newswire, or domain-specific datasets. We extend the study of entity linking to open domain dialogue by presenting the OpenEL corpus: an annotated multi-domain corpus for linking entities in natural conversation to Wikidata. Each dialogic utterance in 179 dialogues over 12 topics from the EDINA dataset has been annotated for entities realized by definite referring expressions as well as anaphoric forms such as he, she, it and they. This dataset supports training and evaluation of entity linking in open-domain dialogue, as well as analysis of the effect of using dialogue context and anaphora resolution in model training. It could also be used for fine-tuning a coreference resolution algorithm. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first substantial entity linking corpus publicly available for open-domain dialogue. We also establish baselines for this task using several existing entity linking systems. We found that the Transformer-based system Flair + BLINK has the best performance with a 0.65 F1 score. Our results show that dialogue context is extremely beneficial for entity linking in conversations, with Flair + Blink achieving an F1 of 0.61 without discourse context. These results also demonstrate the remaining performance gap between the baselines and human performance, highlighting the challenges of entity linking in open-domain dialogue, and suggesting many avenues for future research using OpenEL.