Ruifang He


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MTGP: Multi-turn Target-oriented Dialogue Guided by Generative Global Path with Flexible Turns
Anqi Liu | Bo Wang | Yue Tan | Dongming Zhao | Kun Huang | Ruifang He | Yuexian Hou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

Target-oriented dialogue guides the dialogue to a target quickly and smoothly. The latest approaches focus on global planning, which plans toward the target before the conversation instead of adopting a greedy strategy during the conversation. However, the global plan in existing works is fixed to certain turns by generating paths with certain nodes, which limits the optimization of turns and coherence of the target-oriented process. Toward flexible global planning, we propose to generate a global path as a natural language sentence instead of a sequence of nodes. With this path, the dialog is guided to the target with flexible turns of dialog. For model training, we also extract targetoriented dialogues from the chit-chat corpus with a knowledge graph. We conduct experiments on three datasets and simulate scenarios with and without user participation. The results show that our method has fewer turns, more coherent semantics, and a higher success rate in reaching the target than baselines.

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Guiding Dialogue Agents to Complex Semantic Targets by Dynamically Completing Knowledge Graph
Yue Tan | Bo Wang | Anqi Liu | Dongming Zhao | Kun Huang | Ruifang He | Yuexian Hou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

In the target-oriented dialogue, the representation and achievement of targets are two interrelated essential issues. In current approaches, the target is typically supposed to be a single object represented as a word, which makes it relatively easy to achieve the target through dialogue with the help of a knowledge graph (KG). However, when the target has complex semantics, the existing knowledge graph is often incomplete in tracking complex semantic relations. This paper studies target-oriented dialog where the target is a topic sentence. We combine the methods of knowledge retrieval and relationship prediction to construct a context-related dynamic KG. On dynamic KG, we can track the implicit semantic paths in the speaker’s mind that may not exist in the existing KGs. In addition, we also designed a novel metric to evaluate the tracked path automatically. The experimental results show that our method can control the agent more logically and smoothly toward the complex target.

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Enhancing Personalized Dialogue Generation with Contrastive Latent Variables: Combining Sparse and Dense Persona
Yihong Tang | Bo Wang | Miao Fang | Dongming Zhao | Kun Huang | Ruifang He | Yuexian Hou
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

The personalized dialogue explores the consistent relationship between dialogue generation and personality. Existing personalized dialogue agents model persona profiles from three resources: sparse or dense persona descriptions and dialogue histories. However, sparse structured persona attributes are explicit but uninformative, dense persona texts contain rich persona descriptions with much noise, and dialogue history query is both noisy and uninformative for persona modeling. In this work, we combine the advantages of the three resources to obtain a richer and more accurate persona. We design a Contrastive Latent Variable-based model (CLV) that clusters the dense persona descriptions into sparse categories, which are combined with the history query to generate personalized responses. Experimental results on Chinese and English datasets demonstrate our model’s superiority in personalization.

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Infusing Hierarchical Guidance into Prompt Tuning: A Parameter-Efficient Framework for Multi-level Implicit Discourse Relation Recognition
Haodong Zhao | Ruifang He | Mengnan Xiao | Jing Xu
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Multi-level implicit discourse relation recognition (MIDRR) aims at identifying hierarchical discourse relations among arguments. Previous methods achieve the promotion through fine-tuning PLMs. However, due to the data scarcity and the task gap, the pre-trained feature space cannot be accurately tuned to the task-specific space, which even aggravates the collapse of the vanilla space. Besides, the comprehension of hierarchical semantics for MIDRR makes the conversion much harder. In this paper, we propose a prompt-based Parameter-Efficient Multi-level IDRR (PEMI) framework to solve the above problems. First, we leverage parameter-efficient prompt tuning to drive the inputted arguments to match the pre-trained space and realize the approximation with few parameters. Furthermore, we propose a hierarchical label refining (HLR) method for the prompt verbalizer to deeply integrate hierarchical guidance into the prompt tuning. Finally, our model achieves comparable results on PDTB 2.0 and 3.0 using about 0.1% trainable parameters compared with baselines and the visualization demonstrates the effectiveness of our HLR method.


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CR-GIS: Improving Conversational Recommendation via Goal-aware Interest Sequence Modeling
Jinfeng Zhou | Bo Wang | Zhitong Yang | Dongming Zhao | Kun Huang | Ruifang He | Yuexian Hou
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Conversational recommendation systems (CRS) aim to determine a goal item by sequentially tracking users’ interests through multi-turn conversation. In CRS, implicit patterns of user interest sequence guide the smooth transition of dialog utterances to the goal item. However, with the convenient explicit knowledge of knowledge graph (KG), existing KG-based CRS methods over-rely on the explicit separate KG links to model the user interests but ignore the rich goal-aware implicit interest sequence patterns in a dialog. In addition, interest sequence is also not fully used to generate smooth transited utterances. We propose CR-GIS with a parallel star framework. First, an interest-level star graph is designed to model the goal-aware implicit user interest sequence. Second, a hierarchical Star Transformer is designed to guide the multi-turn utterances generation with the interest-level star graph. Extensive experiments verify the effectiveness of CR-GIS in achieving more accurate recommended items with more fluent and coherent dialog utterances.

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TopKG: Target-oriented Dialog via Global Planning on Knowledge Graph
Zhitong Yang | Bo Wang | Jinfeng Zhou | Yue Tan | Dongming Zhao | Kun Huang | Ruifang He | Yuexian Hou
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Target-oriented dialog aims to reach a global target through multi-turn conversation. The key to the task is the global planning towards the target, which flexibly guides the dialog concerning the context. However, existing target-oriented dialog works take a local and greedy strategy for response generation, where global planning is absent. In this work, we propose global planning for target-oriented dialog on a commonsense knowledge graph (KG). We design a global reinforcement learning with the planned paths to flexibly adjust the local response generation model towards the global target. We also propose a KG-based method to collect target-oriented samples automatically from the chit-chat corpus for model training. Experiments show that our method can reach the target with a higher success rate, fewer turns, and more coherent responses.

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Aligning Recommendation and Conversation via Dual Imitation
Jinfeng Zhou | Bo Wang | Minlie Huang | Dongming Zhao | Kun Huang | Ruifang He | Yuexian Hou
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Human conversations of recommendation naturally involve the shift of interests which can align the recommendation actions and conversation process to make accurate recommendations with rich explanations. However, existing conversational recommendation systems (CRS) ignore the advantage of user interest shift in connecting recommendation and conversation, which leads to an ineffective loose coupling structure of CRS. To address this issue, by modeling the recommendation actions as recommendation paths in a knowledge graph (KG), we propose DICR (Dual Imitation for Conversational Recommendation), which designs a dual imitation to explicitly align the recommendation paths and user interest shift paths in a recommendation module and a conversation module, respectively. By exchanging alignment signals, DICR achieves bidirectional promotion between recommendation and conversation modules and generates high-quality responses with accurate recommendations and coherent explanations. Experiments demonstrate that DICR outperforms the state-of-the-art models on recommendation and conversation performance with automatic, human, and novel explainability metrics.


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CRFR: Improving Conversational Recommender Systems via Flexible Fragments Reasoning on Knowledge Graphs
Jinfeng Zhou | Bo Wang | Ruifang He | Yuexian Hou
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Although paths of user interests shift in knowledge graphs (KGs) can benefit conversational recommender systems (CRS), explicit reasoning on KGs has not been well considered in CRS, due to the complex of high-order and incomplete paths. We propose CRFR, which effectively does explicit multi-hop reasoning on KGs with a conversational context-based reinforcement learning model. Considering the incompleteness of KGs, instead of learning single complete reasoning path, CRFR flexibly learns multiple reasoning fragments which are likely contained in the complete paths of interests shift. A fragments-aware unified model is then designed to fuse the fragments information from item-oriented and concept-oriented KGs to enhance the CRS response with entities and words from the fragments. Extensive experiments demonstrate CRFR’s SOTA performance on recommendation, conversation and conversation interpretability.


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TransS-Driven Joint Learning Architecture for Implicit Discourse Relation Recognition
Ruifang He | Jian Wang | Fengyu Guo | Yugui Han
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Implicit discourse relation recognition is a challenging task due to the lack of connectives as strong linguistic clues. Previous methods primarily encode two arguments separately or extract the specific interaction patterns for the task, which have not fully exploited the annotated relation signal. Therefore, we propose a novel TransS-driven joint learning architecture to address the issues. Specifically, based on the multi-level encoder, we 1) translate discourse relations in low-dimensional embedding space (called TransS), which could mine the latent geometric structure information of argument-relation instances; 2) further exploit the semantic features of arguments to assist discourse understanding; 3) jointly learn 1) and 2) to mutually reinforce each other to obtain the better argument representations, so as to improve the performance of the task. Extensive experimental results on the Penn Discourse TreeBank (PDTB) show that our model achieves competitive results against several state-of-the-art systems.

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TWEETSUM: Event oriented Social Summarization Dataset
Ruifang He | Liangliang Zhao | Huanyu Liu
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

With social media becoming popular, a vast of short and noisy messages are produced by millions of users when a hot event happens. Developing social summarization systems becomes more and more critical for people to quickly grasp core and essential information. However, the publicly available and high-quality large scale social summarization dataset is rare. Constructing such corpus is not easy and very expensive since short texts have very complex social characteristics. In this paper, we construct TWEETSUM, a new event-oriented dataset for social summarization. The original data is collected from twitter and contains 12 real world hot events with a total of 44,034 tweets and 11,240 users. Each event has four expert summaries, and we also have the annotation quality evaluation. In addition, we collect additional social signals (i.e. user relations, hashtags and user profiles) and further establish user relation network for each event. Besides the detailed dataset description, we show the performance of several typical extractive summarization methods on TWEETSUM to establish baselines. For further researches, we will release this dataset to the public.


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A Semi-Supervised Stable Variational Network for Promoting Replier-Consistency in Dialogue Generation
Jinxin Chang | Ruifang He | Longbiao Wang | Xiangyu Zhao | Ting Yang | Ruifang Wang
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Neural sequence-to-sequence models for dialog systems suffer from the problem of favoring uninformative and non replier-specific responses due to lack of the global and relevant information guidance. The existing methods model the generation process by leveraging the neural variational network with simple Gaussian. However, the sampled information from latent space usually becomes useless due to the KL divergence vanishing issue, and the highly abstractive global variables easily dilute the personal features of replier, leading to a non replier-specific response. Therefore, a novel Semi-Supervised Stable Variational Network (SSVN) is proposed to address these issues. We use a unit hypersperical distribution, namely the von Mises-Fisher (vMF), as the latent space of a semi-supervised model, which can obtain the stable KL performance by setting a fixed variance and hence enhance the global information representation. Meanwhile, an unsupervised extractor is introduced to automatically distill the replier-tailored feature which is then injected into a supervised generator to encourage the replier-consistency. Experimental results on two large conversation datasets show that our model outperforms the competitive baseline models significantly, and can generate diverse and replier-specific responses.


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Implicit Discourse Relation Recognition using Neural Tensor Network with Interactive Attention and Sparse Learning
Fengyu Guo | Ruifang He | Di Jin | Jianwu Dang | Longbiao Wang | Xiangang Li
Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Implicit discourse relation recognition aims to understand and annotate the latent relations between two discourse arguments, such as temporal, comparison, etc. Most previous methods encode two discourse arguments separately, the ones considering pair specific clues ignore the bidirectional interactions between two arguments and the sparsity of pair patterns. In this paper, we propose a novel neural Tensor network framework with Interactive Attention and Sparse Learning (TIASL) for implicit discourse relation recognition. (1) We mine the most correlated word pairs from two discourse arguments to model pair specific clues, and integrate them as interactive attention into argument representations produced by the bidirectional long short-term memory network. Meanwhile, (2) the neural tensor network with sparse constraint is proposed to explore the deeper and the more important pair patterns so as to fully recognize discourse relations. The experimental results on PDTB show that our proposed TIASL framework is effective.

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Interaction-Aware Topic Model for Microblog Conversations through Network Embedding and User Attention
Ruifang He | Xuefei Zhang | Di Jin | Longbiao Wang | Jianwu Dang | Xiangang Li
Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Traditional topic models are insufficient for topic extraction in social media. The existing methods only consider text information or simultaneously model the posts and the static characteristics of social media. They ignore that one discusses diverse topics when dynamically interacting with different people. Moreover, people who talk about the same topic have different effects on the topic. In this paper, we propose an Interaction-Aware Topic Model (IATM) for microblog conversations by integrating network embedding and user attention. A conversation network linking users based on reposting and replying relationship is constructed to mine the dynamic user behaviours. We model dynamic interactions and user attention so as to learn interaction-aware edge embeddings with social context. Then they are incorporated into neural variational inference for generating the more consistent topics. The experiments on three real-world datasets show that our proposed model is effective.


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Exploiting Document Level Information to Improve Event Detection via Recurrent Neural Networks
Shaoyang Duan | Ruifang He | Wenli Zhao
Proceedings of the Eighth International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

This paper tackles the task of event detection, which involves identifying and categorizing events. The previous work mainly exist two problems: (1) the traditional feature-based methods apply cross-sentence information, yet need taking a large amount of human effort to design complicated feature sets and inference rules; (2) the representation-based methods though overcome the problem of manually extracting features, while just depend on local sentence representation. Considering local sentence context is insufficient to resolve ambiguities in identifying particular event types, therefore, we propose a novel document level Recurrent Neural Networks (DLRNN) model, which can automatically extract cross-sentence clues to improve sentence level event detection without designing complex reasoning rules. Experiment results show that our approach outperforms other state-of-the-art methods on ACE 2005 dataset without external knowledge base.