The quality of knowledge retrieval is crucial in knowledge-intensive conversations. Two common strategies to improve the retrieval quality are finetuning the retriever or generating a self-contained query, while they encounter heavy burdens on expensive computation and elaborate annotations. In this paper, we propose an unsupervised query enhanced approach for knowledge-intensive conversations, namely QKConv. There are three modules in QKConv: a query generator, an off-the-shelf knowledge selector, and a response generator. Without extra supervision, the end-to-end joint training of QKConv explores multiple candidate queries and utilizes corresponding selected knowledge to yield the target response. To evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed method, we conducted comprehensive experiments on conversational question-answering, task-oriented dialogue, and knowledge-grounded conversation. Experimental results demonstrate that QKConv achieves state-of-the-art performance compared to unsupervised methods and competitive performance compared to supervised methods.
Recently, the practical deployment of open-domain dialogue systems has been plagued by the knowledge issue of information deficiency and factual inaccuracy. To this end, we introduce PLATO-K based on two-stage dialogic learning to strengthen internal knowledge memorization and external knowledge exploitation. In the first stage, PLATO-K learns through massive dialogue corpora and memorizes essential knowledge into model parameters. In the second stage, PLATO-K mimics human beings to search for external information and to leverage the knowledge in response generation. Extensive experiments reveal that the knowledge issue is alleviated significantly in PLATO-K with such comprehensive internal and external knowledge enhancement. Compared to the existing state-of-the-art Chinese dialogue model, the overall engagingness of PLATO-K is improved remarkably by 36.2% and 49.2% on chit-chat and knowledge-intensive conversations.
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.
Many open-domain dialogue models pre-trained with social media comments can generate coherent replies but have difficulties producing engaging responses when interacting with real users. This phenomenon might mainly result from the deficiency of annotated human-human conversations and the misalignment with human preference. In this paper, we propose a novel and efficient approach Diamante to boost the open-domain chatbot, where two kinds of human feedback (including explicit demonstration and implicit preference) are collected and leveraged. By asking annotators to select or amend the model-generated candidate responses, Diamante efficiently collects the human demonstrated responses and constructs a Chinese chit-chat dataset. To enhance the alignment with human preference, Diamante leverages the implicit preference in the data collection process and introduces the generation-evaluation joint training. Comprehensive experiments indicate that the Diamante dataset and joint training paradigm can significantly boost the performance of Chinese pre-trained dialogue models.
In recent years, Internet memes have been widely used in online chatting. Compared with text-based communication, conversations become more expressive and attractive when Internet memes are incorporated. This paper presents our solutions for the Meme incorporated Open-domain Dialogue (MOD) Challenge of DSTC10, where three tasks are involved: text response modeling, meme retrieval, and meme emotion classification. Firstly, we leverage a large-scale pre-trained dialogue model for coherent and informative response generation. Secondly, based on interaction-based text-matching, our approach can retrieve appropriate memes with good generalization ability. Thirdly, we propose to model the emotion flow (EF) in conversations and introduce an auxiliary task of emotion description prediction (EDP) to boost the performance of meme emotion classification. Experimental results on the MOD dataset demonstrate that our methods can incorporate Internet memes into dialogue systems effectively.
Task-oriented dialogue systems have been plagued by the difficulties of obtaining large-scale and high-quality annotated conversations. Furthermore, most of the publicly available datasets only include written conversations, which are insufficient to reflect actual human behaviors in practical spoken dialogue systems. In this paper, we propose Task-oriented Dialogue Data Augmentation (TOD-DA), a novel model-agnostic data augmentation paradigm to boost the robustness of task-oriented dialogue modeling on spoken conversations. The TOD-DA consists of two modules: 1) Dialogue Enrichment to expand training data on task-oriented conversations for easing data sparsity and 2) Spoken Conversation Simulator to imitate oral style expressions and speech recognition errors in diverse granularities for bridging the gap between written and spoken conversations. With such designs, our approach ranked first in both tasks of DSTC10 Track2, a benchmark for task-oriented dialogue modeling on spoken conversations, demonstrating the superiority and effectiveness of our proposed TOD-DA.
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.
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.
In this work, we explore the application of PLATO-2 on various dialogue systems, including open-domain conversation, knowledge grounded dialogue, and task-oriented conversation. PLATO-2 is initially designed as an open-domain chatbot, trained via two-stage curriculum learning. In the first stage, a coarse-grained response generation model is learned to fit the simplified one-to-one mapping relationship. This model is applied to the task-oriented conversation, given that the semantic mappings tend to be deterministic in task completion. In the second stage, another fine-grained generation model and an evaluation model are further learned for diverse response generation and coherence estimation, respectively. With superior capability on capturing one-to-many mapping, such models are suitable for the open-domain conversation and knowledge grounded dialogue. For the comprehensive evaluation of PLATO-2, we have participated in multiple tasks of DSTC9, including interactive evaluation of open-domain conversation (Track3-task2), static evaluation of knowledge grounded dialogue (Track3-task1), and end-to-end task-oriented conversation (Track2-task1). PLATO-2 has obtained the 1st place in all three tasks, verifying its effectiveness as a unified framework for various dialogue systems.