Bootstrapping incremental dialogue systems from minimal data: the generalisation power of dialogue grammars

Arash Eshghi, Igor Shalyminov, Oliver Lemon


Abstract
We investigate an end-to-end method for automatically inducing task-based dialogue systems from small amounts of unannotated dialogue data. It combines an incremental semantic grammar - Dynamic Syntax and Type Theory with Records (DS-TTR) - with Reinforcement Learning (RL), where language generation and dialogue management are a joint decision problem. The systems thus produced are incremental: dialogues are processed word-by-word, shown previously to be essential in supporting natural, spontaneous dialogue. We hypothesised that the rich linguistic knowledge within the grammar should enable a combinatorially large number of dialogue variations to be processed, even when trained on very few dialogues. Our experiments show that our model can process 74% of the Facebook AI bAbI dataset even when trained on only 0.13% of the data (5 dialogues). It can in addition process 65% of bAbI+, a corpus we created by systematically adding incremental dialogue phenomena such as restarts and self-corrections to bAbI. We compare our model with a state-of-the-art retrieval model, MEMN2N. We find that, in terms of semantic accuracy, the MEMN2N model shows very poor robustness to the bAbI+ transformations even when trained on the full bAbI dataset.
Anthology ID:
D17-1236
Volume:
Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing
Month:
September
Year:
2017
Address:
Copenhagen, Denmark
Venue:
EMNLP
SIG:
SIGDAT
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
2220–2230
Language:
URL:
https://www.aclweb.org/anthology/D17-1236
DOI:
10.18653/v1/D17-1236
Bib Export formats:
BibTeX MODS XML EndNote
PDF:
http://aclanthology.lst.uni-saarland.de/D17-1236.pdf