Sarah E. Finch


What Went Wrong? Explaining Overall Dialogue Quality through Utterance-Level Impacts
James D. Finch | Sarah E. Finch | Jinho D. Choi
Proceedings of the 3rd Workshop on Natural Language Processing for Conversational AI

Improving user experience of a dialogue system often requires intensive developer effort to read conversation logs, run statistical analyses, and intuit the relative importance of system shortcomings. This paper presents a novel approach to automated analysis of conversation logs that learns the relationship between user-system interactions and overall dialogue quality. Unlike prior work on utterance-level quality prediction, our approach learns the impact of each interaction from the overall user rating without utterance-level annotation, allowing resultant model conclusions to be derived on the basis of empirical evidence and at low cost. Our model identifies interactions that have a strong correlation with the overall dialogue quality in a chatbot setting. Experiments show that the automated analysis from our model agrees with expert judgments, making this work the first to show that such weakly-supervised learning of utterance-level quality prediction is highly achievable.


Towards Unified Dialogue System Evaluation: A Comprehensive Analysis of Current Evaluation Protocols
Sarah E. Finch | Jinho D. Choi
Proceedings of the 21th Annual Meeting of the Special Interest Group on Discourse and Dialogue

As conversational AI-based dialogue management has increasingly become a trending topic, the need for a standardized and reliable evaluation procedure grows even more pressing. The current state of affairs suggests various evaluation protocols to assess chat-oriented dialogue management systems, rendering it difficult to conduct fair comparative studies across different approaches and gain an insightful understanding of their values. To foster this research, a more robust evaluation protocol must be set in place. This paper presents a comprehensive synthesis of both automated and human evaluation methods on dialogue systems, identifying their shortcomings while accumulating evidence towards the most effective evaluation dimensions. A total of 20 papers from the last two years are surveyed to analyze three types of evaluation protocols: automated, static, and interactive. Finally, the evaluation dimensions used in these papers are compared against our expert evaluation on the system-user dialogue data collected from the Alexa Prize 2020.