A Versatile Adaptive Curriculum Learning Framework for Task-oriented Dialogue Policy Learning
Yang Zhao | Hua Qin | Wang Zhenyu | Changxi Zhu | Shihan Wang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: NAACL 2022
Training a deep reinforcement learning-based dialogue policy with brute-force random sampling is costly. A new training paradigm was proposed to improve learning performance and efficiency by combining curriculum learning. However, attempts in the field of dialogue policy are very limited due to the lack of reliable evaluation of difficulty scores of dialogue tasks and the high sensitivity to the mode of progression through dialogue tasks. In this paper, we present a novel versatile adaptive curriculum learning (VACL) framework, which presents a substantial step toward applying automatic curriculum learning on dialogue policy tasks. It supports evaluating the difficulty of dialogue tasks only using the learning experiences of dialogue policy and skip-level selection according to their learning needs to maximize the learning efficiency. Moreover, an attractive feature of VACL is the construction of a generic, elastic global curriculum while training a good dialogue policy that could guide different dialogue policy learning without extra effort on re-training. The superiority and versatility of VACL are validated on three public dialogue datasets.