Lei Shen


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CDL: Curriculum Dual Learning for Emotion-Controllable Response Generation
Lei Shen | Yang Feng
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Emotion-controllable response generation is an attractive and valuable task that aims to make open-domain conversations more empathetic and engaging. Existing methods mainly enhance the emotion expression by adding regularization terms to standard cross-entropy loss and thus influence the training process. However, due to the lack of further consideration of content consistency, the common problem of response generation tasks, safe response, is intensified. Besides, query emotions that can help model the relationship between query and response are simply ignored in previous models, which would further hurt the coherence. To alleviate these problems, we propose a novel framework named Curriculum Dual Learning (CDL) which extends the emotion-controllable response generation to a dual task to generate emotional responses and emotional queries alternatively. CDL utilizes two rewards focusing on emotion and content to improve the duality. Additionally, it applies curriculum learning to gradually generate high-quality responses based on the difficulties of expressing various emotions. Experimental results show that CDL significantly outperforms the baselines in terms of coherence, diversity, and relation to emotion factors.

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The JDDC Corpus: A Large-Scale Multi-Turn Chinese Dialogue Dataset for E-commerce Customer Service
Meng Chen | Ruixue Liu | Lei Shen | Shaozu Yuan | Jingyan Zhou | Youzheng Wu | Xiaodong He | Bowen Zhou
Proceedings of the 12th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Human conversations are complicated and building a human-like dialogue agent is an extremely challenging task. With the rapid development of deep learning techniques, data-driven models become more and more prevalent which need a huge amount of real conversation data. In this paper, we construct a large-scale real scenario Chinese E-commerce conversation corpus, JDDC, with more than 1 million multi-turn dialogues, 20 million utterances, and 150 million words. The dataset reflects several characteristics of human-human conversations, e.g., goal-driven, and long-term dependency among the context. It also covers various dialogue types including task-oriented, chitchat and question-answering. Extra intent information and three well-annotated challenge sets are also provided. Then, we evaluate several retrieval-based and generative models to provide basic benchmark performance on the JDDC corpus. And we hope JDDC can serve as an effective testbed and benefit the development of fundamental research in dialogue task.


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Modeling Semantic Relationship in Multi-turn Conversations with Hierarchical Latent Variables
Lei Shen | Yang Feng | Haolan Zhan
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Multi-turn conversations consist of complex semantic structures, and it is still a challenge to generate coherent and diverse responses given previous utterances. It’s practical that a conversation takes place under a background, meanwhile, the query and response are usually most related and they are consistent in topic but also different in content. However, little work focuses on such hierarchical relationship among utterances. To address this problem, we propose a Conversational Semantic Relationship RNN (CSRR) model to construct the dependency explicitly. The model contains latent variables in three hierarchies. The discourse-level one captures the global background, the pair-level one stands for the common topic information between query and response, and the utterance-level ones try to represent differences in content. Experimental results show that our model significantly improves the quality of responses in terms of fluency, coherence, and diversity compared to baseline methods.


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Speeding Up Neural Machine Translation Decoding by Cube Pruning
Wen Zhang | Liang Huang | Yang Feng | Lei Shen | Qun Liu
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Although neural machine translation has achieved promising results, it suffers from slow translation speed. The direct consequence is that a trade-off has to be made between translation quality and speed, thus its performance can not come into full play. We apply cube pruning, a popular technique to speed up dynamic programming, into neural machine translation to speed up the translation. To construct the equivalence class, similar target hidden states are combined, leading to less RNN expansion operations on the target side and less softmax operations over the large target vocabulary. The experiments show that, at the same or even better translation quality, our method can translate faster compared with naive beam search by 3.3x on GPUs and 3.5x on CPUs.