The goal of dialogue relation extraction (DRE) is to identify the relation between two entities in a given dialogue. During conversations, speakers may expose their relations to certain entities by explicit or implicit clues, such evidences called “triggers”. However, trigger annotations may not be always available for the target data, so it is challenging to leverage such information for enhancing the performance. Therefore, this paper proposes to learn how to identify triggers from the data with trigger annotations and then transfers the trigger-finding capability to other datasets for better performance. The experiments show that the proposed approach is capable of improving relation extraction performance of unseen relations and also demonstrate the transferability of our proposed trigger-finding model across different domains and datasets.
Natural language understanding (NLU) and Natural language generation (NLG) tasks hold a strong dual relationship, where NLU aims at predicting semantic labels based on natural language utterances and NLG does the opposite. The prior work mainly focused on exploiting the duality in model training in order to obtain the models with better performance. However, regarding the fast-growing scale of models in the current NLP area, sometimes we may have difficulty retraining whole NLU and NLG models. To better address the issue, this paper proposes to leverage the duality in the inference stage without the need of retraining. The experiments on three benchmark datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method in both NLU and NLG, providing the great potential of practical usage.
In modular dialogue systems, natural language understanding (NLU) and natural language generation (NLG) are two critical components, where NLU extracts the semantics from the given texts and NLG is to construct corresponding natural language sentences based on the input semantic representations. However, the dual property between understanding and generation has been rarely explored. The prior work is the first attempt that utilized the duality between NLU and NLG to improve the performance via a dual supervised learning framework. However, the prior work still learned both components in a supervised manner; instead, this paper introduces a general learning framework to effectively exploit such duality, providing flexibility of incorporating both supervised and unsupervised learning algorithms to train language understanding and generation models in a joint fashion. The benchmark experiments demonstrate that the proposed approach is capable of boosting the performance of both NLU and NLG. The source code is available at: https://github.com/MiuLab/DuaLUG.
It is challenging to perform lifelong language learning (LLL) on a stream of different tasks without any performance degradation comparing to the multi-task counterparts. To address this issue, we present Lifelong Language Knowledge Distillation (L2KD), a simple but efficient method that can be easily applied to existing LLL architectures in order to mitigate the degradation. Specifically, when the LLL model is trained on a new task, we assign a teacher model to first learn the new task, and pass the knowledge to the LLL model via knowledge distillation. Therefore, the LLL model can better adapt to the new task while keeping the previously learned knowledge. Experiments show that the proposed L2KD consistently improves previous state-of-the-art models, and the degradation comparing to multi-task models in LLL tasks is well mitigated for both sequence generation and text classification tasks.
Natural language understanding (NLU) and natural language generation (NLG) are both critical research topics in the NLP and dialogue fields. Natural language understanding is to extract the core semantic meaning from the given utterances, while natural language generation is opposite, of which the goal is to construct corresponding sentences based on the given semantics. However, such dual relationship has not been investigated in literature. This paper proposes a novel learning framework for natural language understanding and generation on top of dual supervised learning, providing a way to exploit the duality. The preliminary experiments show that the proposed approach boosts the performance for both tasks, demonstrating the effectiveness of the dual relationship.
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) represent the paramount evidence of clinical medicine. Using machines to interpret the massive amount of RCTs has the potential of aiding clinical decision-making. We propose a RCT conclusion generation task from the PubMed 200k RCT sentence classification dataset to examine the effectiveness of sequence-to-sequence models on understanding RCTs. We first build a pointer-generator baseline model for conclusion generation. Then we fine-tune the state-of-the-art GPT-2 language model, which is pre-trained with general domain data, for this new medical domain task. Both automatic and human evaluation show that our GPT-2 fine-tuned models achieve improved quality and correctness in the generated conclusions compared to the baseline pointer-generator model. Further inspection points out the limitations of this current approach and future directions to explore.
This paper presents a Discriminative Deep Dyna-Q (D3Q) approach to improving the effectiveness and robustness of Deep Dyna-Q (DDQ), a recently proposed framework that extends the Dyna-Q algorithm to integrate planning for task-completion dialogue policy learning. To obviate DDQ’s high dependency on the quality of simulated experiences, we incorporate an RNN-based discriminator in D3Q to differentiate simulated experience from real user experience in order to control the quality of training data. Experiments show that D3Q significantly outperforms DDQ by controlling the quality of simulated experience used for planning. The effectiveness and robustness of D3Q is further demonstrated in a domain extension setting, where the agent’s capability of adapting to a changing environment is tested.
Spoken language understanding (SLU) is an essential component in conversational systems. Most SLU components treats each utterance independently, and then the following components aggregate the multi-turn information in the separate phases. In order to avoid error propagation and effectively utilize contexts, prior work leveraged history for contextual SLU. However, most previous models only paid attention to the related content in history utterances, ignoring their temporal information. In the dialogues, it is intuitive that the most recent utterances are more important than the least recent ones, in other words, time-aware attention should be in a decaying manner. Therefore, this paper designs and investigates various types of time-decay attention on the sentence-level and speaker-level, and further proposes a flexible universal time-decay attention mechanism. The experiments on the benchmark Dialogue State Tracking Challenge (DSTC4) dataset show that the proposed time-decay attention mechanisms significantly improve the state-of-the-art model for contextual understanding performance.
Natural language generation (NLG) is a critical component in spoken dialogue systems. Classic NLG can be divided into two phases: (1) sentence planning: deciding on the overall sentence structure, (2) surface realization: determining specific word forms and flattening the sentence structure into a string. Many simple NLG models are based on recurrent neural networks (RNN) and sequence-to-sequence (seq2seq) model, which basically contains a encoder-decoder structure; these NLG models generate sentences from scratch by jointly optimizing sentence planning and surface realization using a simple cross entropy loss training criterion. However, the simple encoder-decoder architecture usually suffers from generating complex and long sentences, because the decoder has to learn all grammar and diction knowledge. This paper introduces a hierarchical decoding NLG model based on linguistic patterns in different levels, and shows that the proposed method outperforms the traditional one with a smaller model size. Furthermore, the design of the hierarchical decoding is flexible and easily-extendible in various NLG systems.
Language understanding (LU) and dialogue policy learning are two essential components in conversational systems. Human-human dialogues are not well-controlled and often random and unpredictable due to their own goals and speaking habits. This paper proposes a role-based contextual model to consider different speaker roles independently based on the various speaking patterns in the multi-turn dialogues. The experiments on the benchmark dataset show that the proposed role-based model successfully learns role-specific behavioral patterns for contextual encoding and then significantly improves language understanding and dialogue policy learning tasks.