Hengyi Cai


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Data Manipulation: Towards Effective Instance Learning for Neural Dialogue Generation via Learning to Augment and Reweight
Hengyi Cai | Hongshen Chen | Yonghao Song | Cheng Zhang | Xiaofang Zhao | Dawei Yin
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Current state-of-the-art neural dialogue models learn from human conversations following the data-driven paradigm. As such, a reliable training corpus is the crux of building a robust and well-behaved dialogue model. However, due to the open-ended nature of human conversations, the quality of user-generated training data varies greatly, and effective training samples are typically insufficient while noisy samples frequently appear. This impedes the learning of those data-driven neural dialogue models. Therefore, effective dialogue learning requires not only more reliable learning samples, but also fewer noisy samples. In this paper, we propose a data manipulation framework to proactively reshape the data distribution towards reliable samples by augmenting and highlighting effective learning samples as well as reducing the effect of inefficient samples simultaneously. In particular, the data manipulation model selectively augments the training samples and assigns an importance weight to each instance to reform the training data. Note that, the proposed data manipulation framework is fully data-driven and learnable. It not only manipulates training samples to optimize the dialogue generation model, but also learns to increase its manipulation skills through gradient descent with validation samples. Extensive experiments show that our framework can improve the dialogue generation performance with respect to various automatic evaluation metrics and human judgments.

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Group-wise Contrastive Learning for Neural Dialogue Generation
Hengyi Cai | Hongshen Chen | Yonghao Song | Zhuoye Ding | Yongjun Bao | Weipeng Yan | Xiaofang Zhao
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Neural dialogue response generation has gained much popularity in recent years. Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MLE) objective is widely adopted in existing dialogue model learning. However, models trained with MLE objective function are plagued by the low-diversity issue when it comes to the open-domain conversational setting. Inspired by the observation that humans not only learn from the positive signals but also benefit from correcting behaviors of undesirable actions, in this work, we introduce contrastive learning into dialogue generation, where the model explicitly perceives the difference between the well-chosen positive and negative utterances. Specifically, we employ a pretrained baseline model as a reference. During contrastive learning, the target dialogue model is trained to give higher conditional probabilities for the positive samples, and lower conditional probabilities for those negative samples, compared to the reference model. To manage the multi-mapping relations prevalent in human conversation, we augment contrastive dialogue learning with group-wise dual sampling. Extensive experimental results show that the proposed group-wise contrastive learning framework is suited for training a wide range of neural dialogue generation models with very favorable performance over the baseline training approaches.


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Adaptive Parameterization for Neural Dialogue Generation
Hengyi Cai | Hongshen Chen | Cheng Zhang | Yonghao Song | Xiaofang Zhao | Dawei Yin
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Neural conversation systems generate responses based on the sequence-to-sequence (SEQ2SEQ) paradigm. Typically, the model is equipped with a single set of learned parameters to generate responses for given input contexts. When confronting diverse conversations, its adaptability is rather limited and the model is hence prone to generate generic responses. In this work, we propose an Adaptive Neural Dialogue generation model, AdaND, which manages various conversations with conversation-specific parameterization. For each conversation, the model generates parameters of the encoder-decoder by referring to the input context. In particular, we propose two adaptive parameterization mechanisms: a context-aware and a topic-aware parameterization mechanism. The context-aware parameterization directly generates the parameters by capturing local semantics of the given context. The topic-aware parameterization enables parameter sharing among conversations with similar topics by first inferring the latent topics of the given context and then generating the parameters with respect to the distributional topics. Extensive experiments conducted on a large-scale real-world conversational dataset show that our model achieves superior performance in terms of both quantitative metrics and human evaluations.