Tian Wang


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Item-based Collaborative Filtering with BERT
Tian Wang | Yuyangzi Fu
Proceedings of the 3rd Workshop on e-Commerce and NLP

In e-commerce, recommender systems have become an indispensable part of helping users explore the available inventory. In this work, we present a novel approach for item-based collaborative filtering, by leveraging BERT to understand items, and score relevancy between different items. Our proposed method could address problems that plague traditional recommender systems such as cold start, and “more of the same” recommended content. We conducted experiments on a large-scale real-world dataset with full cold-start scenario, and the proposed approach significantly outperforms the popular Bi-LSTM model.


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Mimic and Rephrase: Reflective Listening in Open-Ended Dialogue
Justin Dieter | Tian Wang | Arun Tejasvi Chaganty | Gabor Angeli | Angel X. Chang
Proceedings of the 23rd Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning (CoNLL)

Reflective listening–demonstrating that you have heard your conversational partner–is key to effective communication. Expert human communicators often mimic and rephrase their conversational partner, e.g., when responding to sentimental stories or to questions they don’t know the answer to. We introduce a new task and an associated dataset wherein dialogue agents similarly mimic and rephrase a user’s request to communicate sympathy (I’m sorry to hear that) or lack of knowledge (I do not know that). We study what makes a rephrasal response good against a set of qualitative metrics. We then evaluate three models for generating responses: a syntax-aware rule-based system, a seq2seq LSTM neural models with attention (S2SA), and the same neural model augmented with a copy mechanism (S2SA+C). In a human evaluation, we find that S2SA+C and the rule-based system are comparable and approach human-generated response quality. In addition, experiences with a live deployment of S2SA+C in a customer support setting suggest that this generation task is a practical contribution to real world conversational agents.


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Larger-Context Language Modelling with Recurrent Neural Network
Tian Wang | Kyunghyun Cho
Proceedings of the 54th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)