Sarah E. Finch


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Don’t Forget Your ABC’s: Evaluating the State-of-the-Art in Chat-Oriented Dialogue Systems
Sarah E. Finch | James D. Finch | Jinho D. Choi
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Despite tremendous advancements in dialogue systems, stable evaluation still requires human judgments producing notoriously high-variance metrics due to their inherent subjectivity. Moreover, methods and labels in dialogue evaluation are not fully standardized, especially for open-domain chats, with a lack of work to compare and assess the validity of those approaches. The use of inconsistent evaluation can misinform the performance of a dialogue system, which becomes a major hurdle to enhance it. Thus, a dimensional evaluation of chat-oriented open-domain dialogue systems that reliably measures several aspects of dialogue capabilities is desired. This paper presents a novel human evaluation method to estimate the rates of many{pasted macro ‘LN’} dialogue system behaviors. Our method is used to evaluate four state-of-the-art open-domain dialogue systems and compared with existing approaches. The analysis demonstrates that our behavior method is more suitable than alternative Likert-style or comparative approaches for dimensional evaluation of these systems.

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Leveraging Large Language Models for Automated Dialogue Analysis
Sarah E. Finch | Ellie S. Paek | Jinho D. Choi
Proceedings of the 24th Annual Meeting of the Special Interest Group on Discourse and Dialogue

Developing high-performing dialogue systems benefits from the automatic identification of undesirable behaviors in system responses. However, detecting such behaviors remains challenging, as it draws on a breadth of general knowledge and understanding of conversational practices. Although recent research has focused on building specialized classifiers for detecting specific dialogue behaviors, the behavior coverage is still incomplete and there is a lack of testing on real-world human-bot interactions. This paper investigates the ability of a state-of-the-art large language model (LLM), ChatGPT-3.5, to perform dialogue behavior detection for nine categories in real human-bot dialogues. We aim to assess whether ChatGPT can match specialized models and approximate human performance, thereby reducing the cost of behavior detection tasks. Our findings reveal that neither specialized models nor ChatGPT have yet achieved satisfactory results for this task, falling short of human performance. Nevertheless, ChatGPT shows promising potential and often outperforms specialized detection models. We conclude with an in-depth examination of the prevalent shortcomings of ChatGPT, offering guidance for future research to enhance LLM capabilities.


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What Went Wrong? Explaining Overall Dialogue Quality through Utterance-Level Impacts
James D. Finch | Sarah E. Finch | Jinho D. Choi
Proceedings of the 3rd Workshop on Natural Language Processing for Conversational AI

Improving user experience of a dialogue system often requires intensive developer effort to read conversation logs, run statistical analyses, and intuit the relative importance of system shortcomings. This paper presents a novel approach to automated analysis of conversation logs that learns the relationship between user-system interactions and overall dialogue quality. Unlike prior work on utterance-level quality prediction, our approach learns the impact of each interaction from the overall user rating without utterance-level annotation, allowing resultant model conclusions to be derived on the basis of empirical evidence and at low cost. Our model identifies interactions that have a strong correlation with the overall dialogue quality in a chatbot setting. Experiments show that the automated analysis from our model agrees with expert judgments, making this work the first to show that such weakly-supervised learning of utterance-level quality prediction is highly achievable.


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Towards Unified Dialogue System Evaluation: A Comprehensive Analysis of Current Evaluation Protocols
Sarah E. Finch | Jinho D. Choi
Proceedings of the 21th Annual Meeting of the Special Interest Group on Discourse and Dialogue

As conversational AI-based dialogue management has increasingly become a trending topic, the need for a standardized and reliable evaluation procedure grows even more pressing. The current state of affairs suggests various evaluation protocols to assess chat-oriented dialogue management systems, rendering it difficult to conduct fair comparative studies across different approaches and gain an insightful understanding of their values. To foster this research, a more robust evaluation protocol must be set in place. This paper presents a comprehensive synthesis of both automated and human evaluation methods on dialogue systems, identifying their shortcomings while accumulating evidence towards the most effective evaluation dimensions. A total of 20 papers from the last two years are surveyed to analyze three types of evaluation protocols: automated, static, and interactive. Finally, the evaluation dimensions used in these papers are compared against our expert evaluation on the system-user dialogue data collected from the Alexa Prize 2020.