End-to-End Learning of Flowchart Grounded Task-Oriented Dialogs

Dinesh Raghu, Shantanu Agarwal, Sachindra Joshi, Mausam


Abstract
We propose a novel problem within end-to-end learning of task oriented dialogs (TOD), in which the dialog system mimics a troubleshooting agent who helps a user by diagnosing their problem (e.g., car not starting). Such dialogs are grounded in domain-specific flowcharts, which the agent is supposed to follow during the conversation. Our task exposes novel technical challenges for neural TOD, such as grounding an utterance to the flowchart without explicit annotation, referring to additional manual pages when user asks a clarification question, and ability to follow unseen flowcharts at test time. We release a dataset (FLODIAL) consisting of 2,738 dialogs grounded on 12 different troubleshooting flowcharts. We also design a neural model, FLONET, which uses a retrieval-augmented generation architecture to train the dialog agent. Our experiments find that FLONET can do zero-shot transfer to unseen flowcharts, and sets a strong baseline for future research.
Anthology ID:
2021.emnlp-main.357
Volume:
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing
Month:
November
Year:
2021
Address:
Online and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Venue:
EMNLP
SIG:
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
4348–4366
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/2021.emnlp-main.357
DOI:
10.18653/v1/2021.emnlp-main.357
Bibkey:
Cite (ACL):
Dinesh Raghu, Shantanu Agarwal, Sachindra Joshi, and Mausam. 2021. End-to-End Learning of Flowchart Grounded Task-Oriented Dialogs. In Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, pages 4348–4366, Online and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Association for Computational Linguistics.
Cite (Informal):
End-to-End Learning of Flowchart Grounded Task-Oriented Dialogs (Raghu et al., EMNLP 2021)
Copy Citation:
PDF:
https://preview.aclanthology.org/author-url/2021.emnlp-main.357.pdf
Video:
 https://preview.aclanthology.org/author-url/2021.emnlp-main.357.mp4
Code
 dair-iitd/flonet
Data
FloDial