Wen Cui


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OpenEL: An Annotated Corpus for Entity Linking and Discourse in Open Domain Dialogue
Wen Cui | Leanne Rolston | Marilyn Walker | Beth Ann Hockey
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Entity linking in dialogue is the task of mapping entity mentions in utterances to a target knowledge base. Prior work on entity linking has mainly focused on well-written articles such as Wikipedia, annotated newswire, or domain-specific datasets. We extend the study of entity linking to open domain dialogue by presenting the OpenEL corpus: an annotated multi-domain corpus for linking entities in natural conversation to Wikidata. Each dialogic utterance in 179 dialogues over 12 topics from the EDINA dataset has been annotated for entities realized by definite referring expressions as well as anaphoric forms such as he, she, it and they. This dataset supports training and evaluation of entity linking in open-domain dialogue, as well as analysis of the effect of using dialogue context and anaphora resolution in model training. It could also be used for fine-tuning a coreference resolution algorithm. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first substantial entity linking corpus publicly available for open-domain dialogue. We also establish baselines for this task using several existing entity linking systems. We found that the Transformer-based system Flair + BLINK has the best performance with a 0.65 F1 score. Our results show that dialogue context is extremely beneficial for entity linking in conversations, with Flair + Blink achieving an F1 of 0.61 without discourse context. These results also demonstrate the remaining performance gap between the baselines and human performance, highlighting the challenges of entity linking in open-domain dialogue, and suggesting many avenues for future research using OpenEL.


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Athena 2.0: Contextualized Dialogue Management for an Alexa Prize SocialBot
Juraj Juraska | Kevin Bowden | Lena Reed | Vrindavan Harrison | Wen Cui | Omkar Patil | Rishi Rajasekaran | Angela Ramirez | Cecilia Li | Eduardo Zamora | Phillip Lee | Jeshwanth Bheemanpally | Rohan Pandey | Adwait Ratnaparkhi | Marilyn Walker
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

Athena 2.0 is an Alexa Prize SocialBot that has been a finalist in the last two Alexa Prize Grand Challenges. One reason for Athena’s success is its novel dialogue management strategy, which allows it to dynamically construct dialogues and responses from component modules, leading to novel conversations with every interaction. Here we describe Athena’s system design and performance in the Alexa Prize during the 20/21 competition. A live demo of Athena as well as video recordings will provoke discussion on the state of the art in conversational AI.


KB-NLG: From Knowledge Base to Natural Language Generation
Wen Cui | Minghui Zhou | Rongwen Zhao | Narges Norouzi
Proceedings of the 2019 Workshop on Widening NLP

We perform the natural language generation (NLG) task by mapping sets of Resource Description Framework (RDF) triples into text. First we investigate the impact of increasing the number of entity types in delexicalisaiton on the generation quality. Second we conduct different experiments to evaluate two widely applied language generation systems, encoder-decoder with attention and the Transformer model on a large benchmark dataset. We evaluate different models on automatic metrics, as well as the training time. To our knowledge, we are the first to apply Transformer model to this task.

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Implicit Discourse Relation Identification for Open-domain Dialogues
Mingyu Derek Ma | Kevin Bowden | Jiaqi Wu | Wen Cui | Marilyn Walker
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Discourse relation identification has been an active area of research for many years, and the challenge of identifying implicit relations remains largely an unsolved task, especially in the context of an open-domain dialogue system. Previous work primarily relies on a corpora of formal text which is inherently non-dialogic, i.e., news and journals. This data however is not suitable to handle the nuances of informal dialogue nor is it capable of navigating the plethora of valid topics present in open-domain dialogue. In this paper, we designed a novel discourse relation identification pipeline specifically tuned for open-domain dialogue systems. We firstly propose a method to automatically extract the implicit discourse relation argument pairs and labels from a dataset of dialogic turns, resulting in a novel corpus of discourse relation pairs; the first of its kind to attempt to identify the discourse relations connecting the dialogic turns in open-domain discourse. Moreover, we have taken the first steps to leverage the dialogue features unique to our task to further improve the identification of such relations by performing feature ablation and incorporating dialogue features to enhance the state-of-the-art model.