CASA-NLU: Context-Aware Self-Attentive Natural Language Understanding for Task-Oriented Chatbots
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)
Natural Language Understanding (NLU) is a core component of dialog systems. It typically involves two tasks - Intent Classification (IC) and Slot Labeling (SL), which are then followed by a dialogue management (DM) component. Such NLU systems cater to utterances in isolation, thus pushing the problem of context management to DM. However, contextual information is critical to the correct prediction of intents in a conversation. Prior work on contextual NLU has been limited in terms of the types of contextual signals used and the understanding of their impact on the model. In this work, we propose a context-aware self-attentive NLU (CASA-NLU) model that uses multiple signals over a variable context window, such as previous intents, slots, dialog acts and utterances, in addition to the current user utterance. CASA-NLU outperforms a recurrent contextual NLU baseline on two conversational datasets, yielding a gain of up to 7% on the IC task. Moreover, a non-contextual variant of CASA-NLU achieves state-of-the-art performance on standard public datasets - SNIPS and ATIS.
Goal-Embedded Dual Hierarchical Model for Task-Oriented Dialogue Generation
Proceedings of the 23rd Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning (CoNLL)
Hierarchical neural networks are often used to model inherent structures within dialogues. For goal-oriented dialogues, these models miss a mechanism adhering to the goals and neglect the distinct conversational patterns between two interlocutors. In this work, we propose Goal-Embedded Dual Hierarchical Attentional Encoder-Decoder (G-DuHA) able to center around goals and capture interlocutor-level disparity while modeling goal-oriented dialogues. Experiments on dialogue generation, response generation, and human evaluations demonstrate that the proposed model successfully generates higher-quality, more diverse and goal-centric dialogues. Moreover, we apply data augmentation via goal-oriented dialogue generation for task-oriented dialog systems with better performance achieved.
Simple, Fast, Accurate Intent Classification and Slot Labeling for Goal-Oriented Dialogue Systems
Proceedings of the 20th Annual SIGdial Meeting on Discourse and Dialogue
With the advent of conversational assistants, like Amazon Alexa, Google Now, etc., dialogue systems are gaining a lot of traction, especially in industrial setting. These systems typically consist of Spoken Language understanding component which, in turn, consists of two tasks - Intent Classification (IC) and Slot Labeling (SL). Generally, these two tasks are modeled together jointly to achieve best performance. However, this joint modeling adds to model obfuscation. In this work, we first design framework for a modularization of joint IC-SL task to enhance architecture transparency. Then, we explore a number of self-attention, convolutional, and recurrent models, contributing a large-scale analysis of modeling paradigms for IC+SL across two datasets. Finally, using this framework, we propose a class of ‘label-recurrent’ models that otherwise non-recurrent, with a 10-dimensional representation of the label history, and show that our proposed systems are easy to interpret, highly accurate (achieving over 30% error reduction in SL over the state-of-the-art on the Snips dataset), as well as fast, at 2x the inference and 2/3 to 1/2 the training time of comparable recurrent models, thus giving an edge in critical real-world systems.