The structured representation for semantic parsing in task-oriented assistant systems is geared towards simple understanding of one-turn queries. Due to the limitations of the representation, the session-based properties such as co-reference resolution and context carryover are processed downstream in a pipelined system. In this paper, we propose a semantic representation for such task-oriented conversational systems that can represent concepts such as co-reference and context carryover, enabling comprehensive understanding of queries in a session. We release a new session-based, compositional task-oriented parsing dataset of 20k sessions consisting of 60k utterances. Unlike Dialog State Tracking Challenges, the queries in the dataset have compositional forms. We propose a new family of Seq2Seq models for the session-based parsing above, which also set state-of-the-art in ATIS, SNIPS, TOP and DSTC2. Notably, we improve the best known results on DSTC2 by up to 5 points for slot-carryover.
Recent years have seen a growing interest within the natural language processing (NLP) community in evaluating the ability of semantic models to capture human meaning representation in the brain. Existing research has mainly focused on applying semantic models to decode brain activity patterns associated with the meaning of individual words, and, more recently, this approach has been extended to sentences and larger text fragments. Our work is the first to investigate metaphor processing in the brain in this context. We evaluate a range of semantic models (word embeddings, compositional, and visual models) in their ability to decode brain activity associated with reading of both literal and metaphoric sentences. Our results suggest that compositional models and word embeddings are able to capture differences in the processing of literal and metaphoric sentences, providing support for the idea that the literal meaning is not fully accessible during familiar metaphor comprehension.
Recent work shows that distributional semantic models can be used to decode patterns of brain activity associated with individual words and sentence meanings. However, it is yet unclear to what extent such models can be used to study and decode fMRI patterns associated with specific aspects of semantic composition such as the negation function. In this paper, we apply lexical and compositional semantic models to decode fMRI patterns associated with negated and affirmative sentences containing hand-action verbs. Our results show reduced decoding (correlation) of sentences where the verb is in the negated context, as compared to the affirmative one, within brain regions implicated in action-semantic processing. This supports behavioral and brain imaging studies, suggesting that negation involves reduced access to aspects of the affirmative mental representation. The results pave the way for testing alternate semantic models of negation against human semantic processing in the brain.
Latent tree learning models represent sentences by composing their words according to an induced parse tree, all based on a downstream task. These models often outperform baselines which use (externally provided) syntax trees to drive the composition order. This work contributes (a) a new latent tree learning model based on shift-reduce parsing, with competitive downstream performance and non-trivial induced trees, and (b) an analysis of the trees learned by our shift-reduce model and by a chart-based model.