On the Robustness of Intent Classification and Slot Labeling in Goal-oriented Dialog Systems to Real-world Noise
Sailik Sengupta | Jason Krone | Saab Mansour
Proceedings of the 3rd Workshop on Natural Language Processing for Conversational AI
Intent Classification (IC) and Slot Labeling (SL) models, which form the basis of dialogue systems, often encounter noisy data in real-word environments. In this work, we investigate how robust IC/SL models are to noisy data. We collect and publicly release a test-suite for seven common noise types found in production human-to-bot conversations (abbreviations, casing, misspellings, morphological variants, paraphrases, punctuation and synonyms). On this test-suite, we show that common noise types substantially degrade the IC accuracy and SL F1 performance of state-of-the-art BERT-based IC/SL models. By leveraging cross-noise robustness transfer, i.e. training on one noise type to improve robustness on another noise type, we design aggregate data-augmentation approaches that increase the model performance across all seven noise types by +10.8% for IC accuracy and +15 points for SL F1 on average. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work to present a single IC/SL model that is robust to a wide range of noise phenomena.