While multilingual training is now an essential ingredient in machine translation (MT) systems, recent work has demonstrated that it has different effects in different multilingual settings, such as many-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many learning. These training settings expose the encoder and the decoder in a machine translation model with different data distributions. In this paper, we examine how different varieties of multilingual training contribute to learning these two components of the MT model. Specifically, we compare bilingual models with encoders and/or decoders initialized by multilingual training. We show that multilingual training is beneficial to encoders in general, while it only benefits decoders for low-resource languages (LRLs). We further find the important attention heads for each language pair and compare their correlations during inference. Our analysis sheds light on how multilingual translation models work and also enables us to propose methods to improve performance by training with highly related languages. Our many-to-one models for high-resource languages and one-to-many models for LRL outperform the best results reported by Aharoni et al. (2019).
Instruction tuning is an emergent paradigm in NLP wherein natural language instructions are leveraged with language models to induce zero-shot performance on unseen tasks. Dialogue is an especially interesting area in which to explore instruction tuning because dialogue systems perform multiple kinds of tasks related to language (e.g., natural language understanding and generation, domain-specific interaction), yet instruction tuning has not been systematically explored for dialogue-related tasks. We introduce InstructDial, an instruction tuning framework for dialogue, which consists of a repository of 48 diverse dialogue tasks in a unified text-to-text format created from 59 openly available dialogue datasets. We explore cross-task generalization ability on models tuned on InstructDial across diverse dialogue tasks. Our analysis reveals that InstructDial enables good zero-shot performance on unseen datasets and tasks such as dialogue evaluation and intent detection, and even better performance in a few-shot setting. To ensure that models adhere to instructions, we introduce novel meta-tasks. We establish benchmark zero-shot and few-shot performance of models trained using the proposed framework on multiple dialogue tasks.
Automatic evaluation metrics are a crucial component of dialog systems research. Standard language evaluation metrics are known to be ineffective for evaluating dialog. As such, recent research has proposed a number of novel, dialog-specific metrics that correlate better with human judgements. Due to the fast pace of research, many of these metrics have been assessed on different datasets and there has as yet been no time for a systematic comparison between them. To this end, this paper provides a comprehensive assessment of recently proposed dialog evaluation metrics on a number of datasets. In this paper, 23 different automatic evaluation metrics are evaluated on 10 different datasets. Furthermore, the metrics are assessed in different settings, to better qualify their respective strengths and weaknesses. This comprehensive assessment offers several takeaways pertaining to dialog evaluation metrics in general. It also suggests how to best assess evaluation metrics and indicates promising directions for future work.
Dialogue state tracking models play an important role in a task-oriented dialogue system. However, most of them model the slot types conditionally independently given the input. We discover that it may cause the model to be confused by slot types that share the same data type. To mitigate this issue, we propose TripPy-MRF and TripPy-LSTM that models the slots jointly. Our results show that they are able to alleviate the confusion mentioned above, and they push the state-of-the-art on dataset MultiWoz 2.1 from 58.7 to 61.3.
Standard accuracy metrics indicate that modern reading comprehension systems have achieved strong performance in many question answering datasets. However, the extent these systems truly understand language remains unknown, and existing systems are not good at distinguishing distractor sentences which look related but do not answer the question. To address this problem, we propose QAInfomax as a regularizer in reading comprehension systems by maximizing mutual information among passages, a question, and its answer. QAInfomax helps regularize the model to not simply learn the superficial correlation for answering the questions. The experiments show that our proposed QAInfomax achieves the state-of-the-art performance on the benchmark Adversarial-SQuAD dataset.
Conversational machine comprehension requires deep understanding of the dialogue flow, and the prior work proposed FlowQA to implicitly model the context representations in reasoning for better understanding. This paper proposes to explicitly model the information gain through the dialogue reasoning in order to allow the model to focus on more informative cues. The proposed model achieves the state-of-the-art performance in a conversational QA dataset QuAC and sequential instruction understanding dataset SCONE, which shows the effectiveness of the proposed mechanism and demonstrate its capability of generalization to different QA models and tasks.
Natural language generation (NLG) is a critical component in spoken dialogue systems. Classic NLG can be divided into two phases: (1) sentence planning: deciding on the overall sentence structure, (2) surface realization: determining specific word forms and flattening the sentence structure into a string. Many simple NLG models are based on recurrent neural networks (RNN) and sequence-to-sequence (seq2seq) model, which basically contains a encoder-decoder structure; these NLG models generate sentences from scratch by jointly optimizing sentence planning and surface realization using a simple cross entropy loss training criterion. However, the simple encoder-decoder architecture usually suffers from generating complex and long sentences, because the decoder has to learn all grammar and diction knowledge. This paper introduces a hierarchical decoding NLG model based on linguistic patterns in different levels, and shows that the proposed method outperforms the traditional one with a smaller model size. Furthermore, the design of the hierarchical decoding is flexible and easily-extendible in various NLG systems.