Xiaoting Wu


CMCC: A Comprehensive and Large-Scale Human-Human Dataset for Dialogue Systems
Yi Huang | Xiaoting Wu | Si Chen | Wei Hu | Qing Zhu | Junlan Feng | Chao Deng | Zhijian Ou | Jiangjiang Zhao
Proceedings of the Towards Semi-Supervised and Reinforced Task-Oriented Dialog Systems (SereTOD)

Dialogue modeling problems severely limit the real-world deployment of neural conversational models and building a human-like dialogue agent is an extremely challenging task. Recently, data-driven models become more and more prevalent which need a huge amount of conversation data. In this paper, we release around 100,000 dialogue, which come from real-world dialogue transcripts between real users and customer-service staffs. We call this dataset as CMCC (China Mobile Customer Care) dataset, which differs from existing dialogue datasets in both size and nature significantly. The dataset reflects several characteristics of human-human conversations, e.g., task-driven, care-oriented, and long-term dependency among the context. It also covers various dialogue types including task-oriented, chitchat and conversational recommendation in real-world scenarios. To our knowledge, CMCC is the largest real human-human spoken dialogue dataset and has dozens of times the data scale of others, which shall significantly promote the training and evaluation of dialogue modeling methods. The results of extensive experiments indicate that CMCC is challenging and needs further effort. We hope that this resource will allow for more effective models across various dialogue sub-problems to be built in the future.

State-Aware Adversarial Training for Utterance-Level Dialogue Generation
Yi Huang | Xiaoting Wu | Wei Hu | Junlan Feng | Chao Deng
Proceedings of the Towards Semi-Supervised and Reinforced Task-Oriented Dialog Systems (SereTOD)

Dialogue generation is a challenging problem because it not only requires us to model the context in a conversation but also to exploit it to generate a coherent and fluent utterance. This paper, aiming for a specific topic of this field, proposes an adversarial training based framework for utterance-level dialogue generation. Technically, we train an encoder-decoder generator simultaneously with a discriminative classifier that make the utterance approximate to the state-aware inputs. Experiments on MultiWoZ 2.0 and MultiWoZ 2.1 datasets show that our method achieves advanced improvements on both automatic and human evaluations, and on the effectiveness of our framework facing low-resource. We further explore the effect of fine-grained augmentations for downstream dialogue state tracking (DST) tasks. Experimental results demonstrate the high-quality data generated by our proposed framework improves the performance over state-of-the-art models.


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Counterfactual Matters: Intrinsic Probing For Dialogue State Tracking
Yi Huang | Junlan Feng | Xiaoting Wu | Xiaoyu Du
The First Workshop on Evaluations and Assessments of Neural Conversation Systems

A Dialogue State Tracker (DST) is a core component of modular task-oriented dialogue systems. Tremendous research progress has been made in past ten years to improve performance of DSTs especially on benchmark datasets. However, their generalization to novel and realistic scenarios beyond the held-out conversations is limited. In this paper, we design experimental studies to answer: 1) How does the distribution of dialogue data affect the performance of DSTs? 2) What are effective ways to probe counterfactual matter for DSTs? Our findings are: the performance variance of generative DSTs is not only due to the model structure itself, but can be attributed to the distribution of cross-domain values. Evaluating iconic generative DST models on MultiWOZ dataset with counterfactuals results in a significant performance drop of up to 34.64% (from 50.91% to 16.27%) in absolute joint goal accuracy. It is believed that our experimental results can guide the future work to better understand the intrinsic core of DST and rethink the suitable way for specific tasks given the application property.


Towards Low-Resource Semi-Supervised Dialogue Generation with Meta-Learning
Yi Huang | Junlan Feng | Shuo Ma | Xiaoyu Du | Xiaoting Wu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

In this paper, we propose a meta-learning based semi-supervised explicit dialogue state tracker (SEDST) for neural dialogue generation, denoted as MEDST. Our main motivation is to further bridge the chasm between the need for high accuracy dialogue state tracker and the common reality that only scarce annotated data is available for most real-life dialogue tasks. Specifically, MEDST has two core steps: meta-training with adequate unlabelled data in an automatic way and meta-testing with a few annotated data by supervised learning. In particular, we enhance SEDST via entropy regularization, and investigate semi-supervised learning frameworks based on model-agnostic meta-learning (MAML) that are able to reduce the amount of required intermediate state labelling. We find that by leveraging un-annotated data in meta-way instead, the amount of dialogue state annotations can be reduced below 10% while maintaining equivalent system performance. Experimental results show MEDST outperforms SEDST substantially by 18.7% joint goal accuracy and 14.3% entity match rate on the KVRET corpus with 2% labelled data in semi-supervision.

Meta-Reinforced Multi-Domain State Generator for Dialogue Systems
Yi Huang | Junlan Feng | Min Hu | Xiaoting Wu | Xiaoyu Du | Shuo Ma
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

A Dialogue State Tracker (DST) is a core component of a modular task-oriented dialogue system. Tremendous progress has been made in recent years. However, the major challenges remain. The state-of-the-art accuracy for DST is below 50% for a multi-domain dialogue task. A learnable DST for any new domain requires a large amount of labeled in-domain data and training from scratch. In this paper, we propose a Meta-Reinforced Multi-Domain State Generator (MERET). Our first contribution is to improve the DST accuracy. We enhance a neural model based DST generator with a reward manager, which is built on policy gradient reinforcement learning (RL) to fine-tune the generator. With this change, we are able to improve the joint accuracy of DST from 48.79% to 50.91% on the MultiWOZ corpus. Second, we explore to train a DST meta-learning model with a few domains as source domains and a new domain as target domain. We apply the model-agnostic meta-learning algorithm (MAML) to DST and the obtained meta-learning model is used for new domain adaptation. Our experimental results show this solution is able to outperform the traditional training approach with extremely less training data in target domain.