Dialogue state tracking (DST), which estimates user goals given a dialogue context, is an essential component of task-oriented dialogue systems. Conventional DST models are usually trained offline, which requires a fixed dataset prepared in advance. This paradigm is often impractical in real-world applications since online dialogue systems usually involve continually emerging new data and domains. Therefore, this paper explores Domain-Lifelong Learning for Dialogue State Tracking (DLL-DST), which aims to continually train a DST model on new data to learn incessantly emerging new domains while avoiding catastrophically forgetting old learned domains. To this end, we propose a novel domain-lifelong learning method, called Knowledge Preservation Networks (KPN), which consists of multi-prototype enhanced retrospection and multi-strategy knowledge distillation, to solve the problems of expression diversity and combinatorial explosion in the DLL-DST task. Experimental results show that KPN effectively alleviates catastrophic forgetting and outperforms previous state-of-the-art lifelong learning methods by 4.25% and 8.27% of whole joint goal accuracy on the MultiWOZ benchmark and the SGD benchmark, respectively.
Semantic parsing is challenging due to the structure gap and the semantic gap between utterances and logical forms. In this paper, we propose an unsupervised semantic parsing method - Synchronous Semantic Decoding (SSD), which can simultaneously resolve the semantic gap and the structure gap by jointly leveraging paraphrasing and grammar-constrained decoding. Specifically, we reformulate semantic parsing as a constrained paraphrasing problem: given an utterance, our model synchronously generates its canonical utterancel and meaning representation. During synchronously decoding: the utterance paraphrasing is constrained by the structure of the logical form, therefore the canonical utterance can be paraphrased controlledly; the semantic decoding is guided by the semantics of the canonical utterance, therefore its logical form can be generated unsupervisedly. Experimental results show that SSD is a promising approach and can achieve state-of-the-art unsupervised semantic parsing performance on multiple datasets.