Text-to-SQL translates user queries into SQL statements that can retrieve relevant answers from relational databases. Recent approaches to Text-to-SQL rely on pre-trained language models that are computationally expensive and technically challenging to deploy in real-world applications that require real-time or on-device processing capabilities. In this paper, we perform a focused study on the feasibility of applying recent model compression techniques to sketch-based and sequence-to-sequence Text-to-SQL models. Our results reveal that sketch-based Text-to-SQL models generally have higher inference efficiency and respond better to model compression than sequence-to-sequence models, making them ideal for real-world deployments, especially in use cases with simple SQL statements.
To explore the limit of dialogue generation pre-training, we present the models of PLATO-XL with up to 11 billion parameters, trained on both Chinese and English social media conversations. To train such large models, we adopt the architecture of unified transformer with high computation and parameter efficiency. In addition, we carry out multi-party aware pre-training to better distinguish the characteristic information in social media conversations. With such designs, PLATO-XL successfully achieves superior performances as compared to other approaches in both Chinese and English chitchat. We further explore the capacity of PLATO-XL on other conversational tasks, such as knowledge grounded dialogue and task-oriented conversation. The experimental results indicate that PLATO-XL obtains state-of-the-art results across multiple conversational tasks, verifying its potential as a foundation model of conversational AI.
Existing pipelined task-oriented dialogue systems usually have difficulties adapting to unseen domains, whereas end-to-end systems are plagued by large-scale knowledge bases in practice. In this paper, we introduce a novel query-driven task-oriented dialogue system, namely Q-TOD. The essential information from the dialogue context is extracted into a query, which is further employed to retrieve relevant knowledge records for response generation. Firstly, as the query is in the form of natural language and not confined to the schema of the knowledge base, the issue of domain adaption is alleviated remarkably in Q-TOD. Secondly, as the query enables the decoupling of knowledge retrieval from the generation, Q-TOD gets rid of the issue of knowledge base scalability. To evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed Q-TOD, we collect query annotations for three publicly available task-oriented dialogue datasets. Comprehensive experiments verify that Q-TOD outperforms strong baselines and establishes a new state-of-the-art performance on these datasets.
In task-oriented dialogue systems, recent dialogue state tracking methods tend to perform one-pass generation of the dialogue state based on the previous dialogue state. The mistakes of these models made at the current turn are prone to be carried over to the next turn, causing error propagation. In this paper, we propose a novel Amendable Generation for Dialogue State Tracking (AG-DST), which contains a two-pass generation process: (1) generating a primitive dialogue state based on the dialogue of the current turn and the previous dialogue state, and (2) amending the primitive dialogue state from the first pass. With the additional amending generation pass, our model is tasked to learn more robust dialogue state tracking by amending the errors that still exist in the primitive dialogue state, which plays the role of reviser in the double-checking process and alleviates unnecessary error propagation. Experimental results show that AG-DST significantly outperforms previous works in two active DST datasets (MultiWOZ 2.2 and WOZ 2.0), achieving new state-of-the-art performances.