Baoxun Wang


2020

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Guiding Variational Response Generator to Exploit Persona
Bowen Wu | MengYuan Li | Zongsheng Wang | Yifu Chen | Derek F. Wong | Qihang Feng | Junhong Huang | Baoxun Wang
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Leveraging persona information of users in Neural Response Generators (NRG) to perform personalized conversations has been considered as an attractive and important topic in the research of conversational agents over the past few years. Despite of the promising progress achieved by recent studies in this field, persona information tends to be incorporated into neural networks in the form of user embeddings, with the expectation that the persona can be involved via End-to-End learning. This paper proposes to adopt the personality-related characteristics of human conversations into variational response generators, by designing a specific conditional variational autoencoder based deep model with two new regularization terms employed to the loss function, so as to guide the optimization towards the direction of generating both persona-aware and relevant responses. Besides, to reasonably evaluate the performances of various persona modeling approaches, this paper further presents three direct persona-oriented metrics from different perspectives. The experimental results have shown that our proposed methodology can notably improve the performance of persona-aware response generation, and the metrics are reasonable to evaluate the results.

2019

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Improving the Robustness of Deep Reading Comprehension Models by Leveraging Syntax Prior
Bowen Wu | Haoyang Huang | Zongsheng Wang | Qihang Feng | Jingsong Yu | Baoxun Wang
Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Machine Reading for Question Answering

Despite the remarkable progress on Machine Reading Comprehension (MRC) with the help of open-source datasets, recent studies indicate that most of the current MRC systems unfortunately suffer from weak robustness against adversarial samples. To address this issue, we attempt to take sentence syntax as the leverage in the answer predicting process which previously only takes account of phrase-level semantics. Furthermore, to better utilize the sentence syntax and improve the robustness, we propose a Syntactic Leveraging Network, which is designed to deal with adversarial samples by exploiting the syntactic elements of a question. The experiment results indicate that our method is promising for improving the generalization and robustness of MRC models against the influence of adversarial samples, with performance well-maintained.

2018

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LSDSCC: a Large Scale Domain-Specific Conversational Corpus for Response Generation with Diversity Oriented Evaluation Metrics
Zhen Xu | Nan Jiang | Bingquan Liu | Wenge Rong | Bowen Wu | Baoxun Wang | Zhuoran Wang | Xiaolong Wang
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long Papers)

It has been proven that automatic conversational agents can be built up using the Endto-End Neural Response Generation (NRG) framework, and such a data-driven methodology requires a large number of dialog pairs for model training and reasonable evaluation metrics for testing. This paper proposes a Large Scale Domain-Specific Conversational Corpus (LSDSCC) composed of high-quality queryresponse pairs extracted from the domainspecific online forum, with thorough preprocessing and cleansing procedures. Also, a testing set, including multiple diverse responses annotated for each query, is constructed, and on this basis, the metrics for measuring the diversity of generated results are further presented. We evaluate the performances of neural dialog models with the widely applied diversity boosting strategies on the proposed dataset. The experimental results have shown that our proposed corpus can be taken as a new benchmark dataset for the NRG task, and the presented metrics are promising to guide the optimization of NRG models by quantifying the diversity of the generated responses reasonably.

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A Prospective-Performance Network to Alleviate Myopia in Beam Search for Response Generation
Zongsheng Wang | Yunzhi Bai | Bowen Wu | Zhen Xu | Zhuoran Wang | Baoxun Wang
Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Generative dialog models usually adopt beam search as the inference method to generate responses. However, small-width beam search only focuses on the limited current optima. This deficiency named as myopic bias ultimately suppresses the diversity and probability of generated responses. Although increasing the beam width mitigates the myopic bias, it also proportionally slows down the inference efficiency. To alleviate the myopic bias in small-width beam search, this paper proposes a Prospective-Performance Network (PPN) to predict the future reward of the given partially-generated response, and the future reward is defined by the expectation of the partial response appearing in the top-ranked responses given by a larger-width beam search. Enhanced by PPN, the decoder can promote the results with great potential during the beam search phase. The experimental results on both Chinese and English corpora show that our method is promising to increase the quality and diversity of generated responses, with inference efficiency well maintained.

2017

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Predicting Users’ Negative Feedbacks in Multi-Turn Human-Computer Dialogues
Xin Wang | Jianan Wang | Yuanchao Liu | Xiaolong Wang | Zhuoran Wang | Baoxun Wang
Proceedings of the Eighth International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

User experience is essential for human-computer dialogue systems. However, it is impractical to ask users to provide explicit feedbacks when the agents’ responses displease them. Therefore, in this paper, we explore to predict users’ imminent dissatisfactions caused by intelligent agents by analysing the existing utterances in the dialogue sessions. To our knowledge, this is the first work focusing on this task. Several possible factors that trigger negative emotions are modelled. A relation sequence model (RSM) is proposed to encode the sequence of appropriateness of current response with respect to the earlier utterances. The experimental results show that the proposed structure is effective in modelling emotional risk (possibility of negative feedback) than existing conversation modelling approaches. Besides, strategies of obtaining distance supervision data for pre-training are also discussed in this work. Balanced sampling with respect to the last response in the distance supervision data are shown to be reliable for data augmentation.

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Group Linguistic Bias Aware Neural Response Generation
Jianan Wang | Xin Wang | Fang Li | Zhen Xu | Zhuoran Wang | Baoxun Wang
Proceedings of the 9th SIGHAN Workshop on Chinese Language Processing

For practical chatbots, one of the essential factor for improving user experience is the capability of customizing the talking style of the agents, that is, to make chatbots provide responses meeting users’ preference on language styles, topics, etc. To address this issue, this paper proposes to incorporate linguistic biases, which implicitly involved in the conversation corpora generated by human groups in the Social Network Services (SNS), into the encoder-decoder based response generator. By attaching a specially designed neural component to dynamically control the impact of linguistic biases in response generation, a Group Linguistic Bias Aware Neural Response Generation (GLBA-NRG) model is eventually presented. The experimental results on the dataset from the Chinese SNS show that the proposed architecture outperforms the current response generating models by producing both meaningful and vivid responses with customized styles.

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Neural Response Generation via GAN with an Approximate Embedding Layer
Zhen Xu | Bingquan Liu | Baoxun Wang | Chengjie Sun | Xiaolong Wang | Zhuoran Wang | Chao Qi
Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

This paper presents a Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) to model single-turn short-text conversations, which trains a sequence-to-sequence (Seq2Seq) network for response generation simultaneously with a discriminative classifier that measures the differences between human-produced responses and machine-generated ones. In addition, the proposed method introduces an approximate embedding layer to solve the non-differentiable problem caused by the sampling-based output decoding procedure in the Seq2Seq generative model. The GAN setup provides an effective way to avoid noninformative responses (a.k.a “safe responses”), which are frequently observed in traditional neural response generators. The experimental results show that the proposed approach significantly outperforms existing neural response generation models in diversity metrics, with slight increases in relevance scores as well, when evaluated on both a Mandarin corpus and an English corpus.

2016

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Ranking Responses Oriented to Conversational Relevance in Chat-bots
Bowen Wu | Baoxun Wang | Hui Xue
Proceedings of COLING 2016, the 26th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: Technical Papers

For automatic chatting systems, it is indeed a great challenge to reply the given query considering the conversation history, rather than based on the query only. This paper proposes a deep neural network to address the context-aware response ranking problem by end-to-end learning, so as to help to select conversationally relevant candidate. By combining the multi-column convolutional layer and the recurrent layer, our model is able to model the semantics of the utterance sequence by grasping the semantic clue within the conversation, on the basis of the effective representation for each sentence. Especially, the network utilizes attention pooling to further emphasis the importance of essential words in conversations, thus the representations of contexts tend to be more meaningful and the performance of candidate ranking is notably improved. Meanwhile, due to the adoption of attention pooling, it is possible to visualize the semantic clues. The experimental results on the large amount of conversation data from social media have shown that our approach is promising for quantifying the conversational relevance of responses, and indicated its good potential for building practical IR based chat-bots.

2015

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Predicting Polarities of Tweets by Composing Word Embeddings with Long Short-Term Memory
Xin Wang | Yuanchao Liu | Chengjie Sun | Baoxun Wang | Xiaolong Wang
Proceedings of the 53rd Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 7th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

2013

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Multimodal DBN for Predicting High-Quality Answers in cQA portals
Haifeng Hu | Bingquan Liu | Baoxun Wang | Ming Liu | Xiaolong Wang
Proceedings of the 51st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

2012

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Generating Questions from Web Community Contents
Baoxun Wang | Bingquan Liu | Chengjie Sun | Xiaolong Wang | Deyuan Zhang
Proceedings of COLING 2012: Demonstration Papers

2010

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Modeling Semantic Relevance for Question-Answer Pairs in Web Social Communities
Baoxun Wang | Xiaolong Wang | Chengjie Sun | Bingquan Liu | Lin Sun
Proceedings of the 48th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics