Shivani Poddar


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Situated and Interactive Multimodal Conversations
Seungwhan Moon | Satwik Kottur | Paul Crook | Ankita De | Shivani Poddar | Theodore Levin | David Whitney | Daniel Difranco | Ahmad Beirami | Eunjoon Cho | Rajen Subba | Alborz Geramifard
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Next generation virtual assistants are envisioned to handle multimodal inputs (e.g., vision, memories of previous interactions, and the user’s utterances), and perform multimodal actions (, displaying a route while generating the system’s utterance). We introduce Situated Interactive MultiModal Conversations (SIMMC) as a new direction aimed at training agents that take multimodal actions grounded in a co-evolving multimodal input context in addition to the dialog history. We provide two SIMMC datasets totalling ~13K human-human dialogs (~169K utterances) collected using a multimodal Wizard-of-Oz (WoZ) setup, on two shopping domains: (a) furniture – grounded in a shared virtual environment; and (b) fashion – grounded in an evolving set of images. Datasets include multimodal context of the items appearing in each scene, and contextual NLU, NLG and coreference annotations using a novel and unified framework of SIMMC conversational acts for both user and assistant utterances. Finally, we present several tasks within SIMMC as objective evaluation protocols, such as structural API prediction, response generation, and dialog state tracking. We benchmark a collection of existing models on these SIMMC tasks as strong baselines, and demonstrate rich multimodal conversational interactions. Our data, annotations, and models will be made publicly available.

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MuDoCo: Corpus for Multidomain Coreference Resolution and Referring Expression Generation
Scott Martin | Shivani Poddar | Kartikeya Upasani
Proceedings of the Twelfth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

This paper proposes a new dataset, MuDoCo, composed of authored dialogs between a fictional user and a system who are given tasks to perform within six task domains. These dialogs are given rich linguistic annotations by expert linguists for several types of reference mentions and named entity mentions, either of which can span multiple words, as well as for coreference links between mentions. The dialogs sometimes cross and blend domains, and the users exhibit complex task switching behavior such as re-initiating a previous task in the dialog by referencing the entities within it. The dataset contains a total of 8,429 dialogs with an average of 5.36 turns per dialog. We are releasing this dataset to encourage research in the field of coreference resolution, referring expression generation and identification within realistic, deep dialogs involving multiple domains. To demonstrate its utility, we also propose two baseline models for the downstream tasks: coreference resolution and referring expression generation.


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Attentive Interaction Model: Modeling Changes in View in Argumentation
Yohan Jo | Shivani Poddar | Byungsoo Jeon | Qinlan Shen | Carolyn Rosé | Graham Neubig
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long Papers)

We present a neural architecture for modeling argumentative dialogue that explicitly models the interplay between an Opinion Holder’s (OH’s) reasoning and a challenger’s argument, with the goal of predicting if the argument successfully changes the OH’s view. The model has two components: (1) vulnerable region detection, an attention model that identifies parts of the OH’s reasoning that are amenable to change, and (2) interaction encoding, which identifies the relationship between the content of the OH’s reasoning and that of the challenger’s argument. Based on evaluation on discussions from the Change My View forum on Reddit, the two components work together to predict an OH’s change in view, outperforming several baselines. A posthoc analysis suggests that sentences picked out by the attention model are addressed more frequently by successful arguments than by unsuccessful ones.