Patrick L. Lange

Also published as: Patrick Lange


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DialGuide: Aligning Dialogue Model Behavior with Developer Guidelines
Prakhar Gupta | Yang Liu | Di Jin | Behnam Hedayatnia | Spandana Gella | Sijia Liu | Patrick Lange | Julia Hirschberg | Dilek Hakkani-Tur
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Dialogue models are able to generate coherent and fluent responses, but they can still be challenging to control and may produce non-engaging, unsafe results. This unpredictability diminishes user trust and can hinder the use of the models in the real world. To address this, we introduce DialGuide, a novel framework for controlling dialogue model behavior using natural language rules, or guidelines. These guidelines provide information about the context they are applicable to and what should be included in the response, allowing the models to generate responses that are more closely aligned with the developer’s expectations and intent. We evaluate DialGuide on three tasks in open-domain dialogue response generation: guideline selection, response generation, and response entailment verification. Our dataset contains 10,737 positive and 15,467 negative dialogue context-response-guideline triplets across two domains - chit-chat and safety. We provide baseline models for the tasks and benchmark their performance. We also demonstrate that DialGuide is effective in the dialogue safety domain, producing safe and engaging responses that follow developer guidelines.

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Investigating the Representation of Open Domain Dialogue Context for Transformer Models
Vishakh Padmakumar | Behnam Hedayatnia | Di Jin | Patrick Lange | Seokhwan Kim | Nanyun Peng | Yang Liu | Dilek Hakkani-Tur
Proceedings of the 24th Annual Meeting of the Special Interest Group on Discourse and Dialogue

The bulk of work adapting transformer models to open-domain dialogue represents dialogue context as the concatenated set of turns in natural language. However, it is unclear if this is the best approach. In this work, we investigate this question by means of an empirical controlled experiment varying the dialogue context format from text-only formats (all recent utterances, summaries, selected utterances) as well as variants that are more structurally different (triples, AMR). We compare these formats based on fine-tuned model performance on two downstream tasks—knowledge selection and response generation. We find that simply concatenating the utterances works as a strong baseline in most cases, but is outperformed in longer contexts by a hybrid approach of combining a summary of the context with recent utterances. Through empirical analysis, our work highlights the need to examine the format of context representation and offers recommendations on adapting general-purpose language models to dialogue tasks.

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Multimodal Embodied Plan Prediction Augmented with Synthetic Embodied Dialogue
Aishwarya Padmakumar | Mert Inan | Spandana Gella | Patrick Lange | Dilek Hakkani-Tur
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Embodied task completion is a challenge where an agent in a simulated environment must predict environment actions to complete tasks based on natural language instructions and ego-centric visual observations. We propose a variant of this problem where the agent predicts actions at a higher level of abstraction called a plan, which helps make agent actions more interpretable and can be obtained from the appropriate prompting of large language models. We show that multimodal transformer models can outperform language-only models for this problem but fall significantly short of oracle plans. Since collecting human-human dialogues for embodied environments is expensive and time-consuming, we propose a method to synthetically generate such dialogues, which we then use as training data for plan prediction. We demonstrate that multimodal transformer models can attain strong zero-shot performance from our synthetic data, outperforming language-only models trained on human-human data.


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Dialog Acts for Task Driven Embodied Agents
Spandana Gella | Aishwarya Padmakumar | Patrick Lange | Dilek Hakkani-Tur
Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Special Interest Group on Discourse and Dialogue

Embodied agents need to be able to interact in natural language – understanding task descriptions and asking appropriate follow up questions to obtain necessary information to be effective at successfully accomplishing tasks for a wide range of users. In this work, we propose a set of dialog acts for modelling such dialogs and annotate the TEACh dataset that includes over 3,000 situated, task oriented conversations (consisting of 39.5k utterances in total) with dialog acts. To our knowledge,TEACh-DA is the first large scale dataset of dialog act annotations for embodied task completion. Furthermore, we demonstrate the use of this annotated dataset in training models for tagging the dialog acts of a given utterance, predicting the dialog act of the next response given a dialog history, and use the dialog acts to guide agent’s non-dialog behaviour. In particular, our experiments on the TEACh Execution from Dialog History task where the model predicts the sequence of low level actions to be executed in the environment for embodied task completion, demonstrate that dialog acts can improve end performance by up to 2 points compared to the system without dialog acts.


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Evaluation of In-Person Counseling Strategies To Develop Physical Activity Chatbot for Women
Kai-Hui Liang | Patrick Lange | Yoo Jung Oh | Jingwen Zhang | Yoshimi Fukuoka | Zhou Yu
Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Special Interest Group on Discourse and Dialogue

Artificial intelligence chatbots are the vanguard in technology-based intervention to change people’s behavior. To develop intervention chatbots, the first step is to understand natural language conversation strategies in human conversation. This work introduces an intervention conversation dataset collected from a real-world physical activity intervention program for women. We designed comprehensive annotation schemes in four dimensions (domain, strategy, social exchange, and task-focused exchange) and annotated a subset of dialogs. We built a strategy classifier with context information to detect strategies from both trainers and participants based on the annotation. To understand how human intervention induces effective behavior changes, we analyzed the relationships between the intervention strategies and the participants’ changes in the barrier and social support for physical activity. We also analyzed how participant’s baseline weight correlates to the amount of occurrence of the corresponding strategy. This work lays the foundation for developing a personalized physical activity intervention chatbot.


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My Turn To Read: An Interleaved E-book Reading Tool for Developing and Struggling Readers
Nitin Madnani | Beata Beigman Klebanov | Anastassia Loukina | Binod Gyawali | Patrick Lange | John Sabatini | Michael Flor
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: System Demonstrations

Literacy is crucial for functioning in modern society. It underpins everything from educational attainment and employment opportunities to health outcomes. We describe My Turn To Read, an app that uses interleaved reading to help developing and struggling readers improve reading skills while reading for meaning and pleasure. We hypothesize that the longer-term impact of the app will be to help users become better, more confident readers with an increased stamina for extended reading. We describe the technology and present preliminary evidence in support of this hypothesis.


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Leveraging Multimodal Dialog Technology for the Design of Automated and Interactive Student Agents for Teacher Training
David Pautler | Vikram Ramanarayanan | Kirby Cofino | Patrick Lange | David Suendermann-Oeft
Proceedings of the 19th Annual SIGdial Meeting on Discourse and Dialogue

We present a paradigm for interactive teacher training that leverages multimodal dialog technology to puppeteer custom-designed embodied conversational agents (ECAs) in student roles. We used the open-source multimodal dialog system HALEF to implement a small-group classroom math discussion involving Venn diagrams where a human teacher candidate has to interact with two student ECAs whose actions are controlled by the dialog system. Such an automated paradigm has the potential to be extended and scaled to a wide range of interactive simulation scenarios in education, medicine, and business where group interaction training is essential.


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LVCSR System on a Hybrid GPU-CPU Embedded Platform for Real-Time Dialog Applications
Alexei V. Ivanov | Patrick L. Lange | David Suendermann-Oeft
Proceedings of the 17th Annual Meeting of the Special Interest Group on Discourse and Dialogue