Disentangling Language and Knowledge in Task-Oriented Dialogs

NAACL 2019  ·  Dinesh Raghu, Nikhil Gupta, Mausam ·

The Knowledge Base (KB) used for real-world applications, such as booking a movie or restaurant reservation, keeps changing over time. End-to-end neural networks trained for these task-oriented dialogs are expected to be immune to any changes in the KB. However, existing approaches breakdown when asked to handle such changes. We propose an encoder-decoder architecture (BoSsNet) with a novel Bag-of-Sequences (BoSs) memory, which facilitates the disentangled learning of the response's language model and its knowledge incorporation. Consequently, the KB can be modified with new knowledge without a drop in interpretability. We find that BoSsNet outperforms state-of-the-art models, with considerable improvements (> 10\%) on bAbI OOV test sets and other human-human datasets. We also systematically modify existing datasets to measure disentanglement and show BoSsNet to be robust to KB modifications.

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