Traditional goal-oriented dialogue systems rely on various components such as natural language understanding, dialogue state tracking, policy learning and response generation. Training each component requires annotations which are hard to obtain for every new domain, limiting scalability of such systems. Similarly, rule-based dialogue systems require extensive writing and maintenance of rules and do not scale either. End-to-End dialogue systems, on the other hand, do not require module-specific annotations but need a large amount of data for training. To overcome these problems, in this demo, we present Alexa Conversations, a new approach for building goal-oriented dialogue systems that is scalable, extensible as well as data efficient. The components of this system are trained in a data-driven manner, but instead of collecting annotated conversations for training, we generate them using a novel dialogue simulator based on a few seed dialogues and specifications of APIs and entities provided by the developer. Our approach provides out-of-the-box support for natural conversational phenomenon like entity sharing across turns or users changing their mind during conversation without requiring developers to provide any such dialogue flows. We exemplify our approach using a simple pizza ordering task and showcase its value in reducing the developer burden for creating a robust experience. Finally, we evaluate our system using a typical movie ticket booking task integrated with live APIs and show that the dialogue simulator is an essential component of the system that leads to over 50% improvement in turn-level action signature prediction accuracy.
Detecting an Out-of-Domain (OOD) utterance is crucial for a robust dialog system. Most dialog systems are trained on a pool of annotated OOD data to achieve this goal. However, collecting the annotated OOD data for a given domain is an expensive process. To mitigate this issue, previous works have proposed generative adversarial networks (GAN) based models to generate OOD data for a given domain automatically. However, these proposed models do not work directly with the text. They work with the text’s latent space instead, enforcing these models to include components responsible for encoding text into latent space and decoding it back, such as auto-encoder. These components increase the model complexity, making it difficult to train. We propose OodGAN, a sequential generative adversarial network (SeqGAN) based model for OOD data generation. Our proposed model works directly on the text and hence eliminates the need to include an auto-encoder. OOD data generated using OodGAN model outperforms state-of-the-art in OOD detection metrics for ROSTD (67% relative improvement in FPR 0.95) and OSQ datasets (28% relative improvement in FPR 0.95)