A Goal-oriented Neural Conversation Model by Self-Play

ICLR 2018  ·  Wei Wei, Quoc V. Le, Andrew M. Dai, Li-Jia Li ·

Building chatbots that can accomplish goals such as booking a flight ticket is an unsolved problem in natural language understanding. Much progress has been made to build conversation models using techniques such as sequence2sequence modeling... One challenge in applying such techniques to building goal-oriented conversation models is that maximum likelihood-based models are not optimized toward accomplishing goals. Recently, many methods have been proposed to address this issue by optimizing a reward that contains task status or outcome. However, adding the reward optimization on the fly usually provides little guidance for language construction and the conversation model soon becomes decoupled from the language model. In this paper, we propose a new setting in goal-oriented dialogue system to tighten the gap between these two aspects by enforcing model level information isolation on individual models between two agents. Language construction now becomes an important part in reward optimization since it is the only way information can be exchanged. We experimented our models using self-play and results showed that our method not only beat the baseline sequence2sequence model in rewards but can also generate human-readable meaningful conversations of comparable quality. read more

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