Grounding dialogue generation by extra knowledge has shown great potentials towards building a system capable of replying with knowledgeable and engaging responses. Existing studies focus on how to synthesize a response with proper knowledge, yet neglect that the same knowledge could be expressed differently by speakers even under the same context. In this work, we mainly consider two aspects of knowledge expression, namely the structure of the response and style of the content in each part. We therefore introduce two sequential latent variables to represent the structure and the content style respectively. We propose a segmentation-based generation model and optimize the model by a variational approach to discover the underlying pattern of knowledge expression in a response. Evaluation results on two benchmarks indicate that our model can learn the structure style defined by a few examples and generate responses in desired content style.
Knowledge-grounded conversation (KGC) shows great potential in building an engaging and knowledgeable chatbot, and knowledge selection is a key ingredient in it. However, previous methods for knowledge selection only concentrate on the relevance between knowledge and dialogue context, ignoring the fact that age, hobby, education and life experience of an interlocutor have a major effect on his or her personal preference over external knowledge. Without taking the personalization issue into account, it is difficult for existing dialogue systems to select the proper knowledge and generate persona-consistent responses.In this work, we introduce personal memory into knowledge selection in KGC to address the personalization issue. We propose a variational method to model the underlying relationship between one’s personal memory and his or her selection of knowledge, and devise a learning scheme in which the forward mapping from personal memory to knowledge and its inverse mapping is included in a closed loop so that they could teach each other. Experiment results show that our methods outperform existing KGC methods significantly on both automatic evaluation and human evaluation.
We study video-grounded dialogue generation, where a response is generated based on the dialogue context and the associated video. The primary challenges of this task lie in (1) the difficulty of integrating video data into pre-trained language models (PLMs) which presents obstacles to exploiting the power of large-scale pre-training; and (2) the necessity of taking into account the complementarity of various modalities throughout the reasoning process. Although having made remarkable progress in video-grounded dialogue generation, existing methods still fall short when it comes to integrating with PLMs in a way that allows information from different modalities to complement each other. To alleviate these issues, we first propose extracting pertinent information from videos and turning it into reasoning paths that are acceptable to PLMs. Additionally, we propose a multi-agent reinforcement learning method to collaboratively perform reasoning on different modalities (i.e., video and dialogue context). Empirical experiment results on two public datasets indicate that the proposed model can significantly outperform state-of-the-art models by large margins on both automatic and human evaluations.
Knowledge-grounded dialogue (KGC) shows excellent potential to deliver an engaging and informative response. However, existing approaches emphasize selecting one golden knowledge given a particular dialogue context, overlooking the one-to-many phenomenon in dialogue. As a result, existing paradigm limits the diversity of knowledge selection and generation. To this end, we establish a multi-reference KGC dataset and propose a series of metrics to systematically assess the one-to-many efficacy of existing KGC models. Furthermore, to extend the hypothesis space of knowledge selection to enhance the mapping relationship between multiple knowledge and multiple responses, we devise a span-based variational model and optimize the model in a wake-sleep style with an ameliorated evidence lower bound objective to learn the one-to-many generalization. Both automatic and human evaluations demonstrate the efficacy of our approach.
With the availability of massive general-domain dialogue data, pre-trained dialogue generation appears to be super appealing to transfer knowledge from the general domain to downstream applications. In most existing work, such transferable ability is mainly obtained by fitting a large model with hundreds of millions of parameters on massive data in an exhaustive way, leading to inefficient running and poor interpretability. This paper proposes a novel dialogue generation model with a latent structure that is easily transferable from the general domain to downstream tasks in a lightweight and transparent way. Experiments on two benchmarks validate the effectiveness of the proposed model. Thanks to the transferable latent structure, our model is able to yield better dialogue responses than four strong baselines in terms of both automatic and human evaluations, and our model with about 22% parameters particularly delivers a 5x speedup in running time compared with the strongest baseline. Moreover, the proposed model is explainable by interpreting the discrete latent variables.
We study knowledge-grounded dialogue generation with pre-trained language models. To leverage the redundant external knowledge under capacity constraint, we propose equipping response generation defined by a pre-trained language model with a knowledge selection module, and an unsupervised approach to jointly optimizing knowledge selection and response generation with unlabeled dialogues. Empirical results on two benchmarks indicate that our model can significantly outperform state-of-the-art methods in both automatic evaluation and human judgment.