Anaphora and ellipses are two common phenomena in dialogues. Without resolving referring expressions and information omission, dialogue systems may fail to generate consistent and coherent responses. Traditionally, anaphora is resolved by coreference resolution and ellipses by query rewrite. In this work, we propose a novel joint learning framework of modeling coreference resolution and query rewriting for complex, multi-turn dialogue understanding. Given an ongoing dialogue between a user and a dialogue assistant, for the user query, our joint learning model first predicts coreference links between the query and the dialogue context, and then generates a self-contained rewritten user query. To evaluate our model, we annotate a dialogue based coreference resolution dataset, MuDoCo, with rewritten queries. Results show that the performance of query rewrite can be substantially boosted (+2.3% F1) with the aid of coreference modeling. Furthermore, our joint model outperforms the state-of-the-art coreference resolution model (+2% F1) on this dataset.
We consider a new perspective on dialog state tracking (DST), the task of estimating a user’s goal through the course of a dialog. By formulating DST as a semantic parsing task over hierarchical representations, we can incorporate semantic compositionality, cross-domain knowledge sharing and co-reference. We present TreeDST, a dataset of 27k conversations annotated with tree-structured dialog states and system acts. We describe an encoder-decoder framework for DST with hierarchical representations, which leads to ~20% improvement over state-of-the-art DST approaches that operate on a flat meaning space of slot-value pairs.