Improving Unsupervised Dialogue Topic Segmentation with Utterance-Pair Coherence Scoring

SIGDIAL (ACL) 2021  ·  Linzi Xing, Giuseppe Carenini ·

Dialogue topic segmentation is critical in several dialogue modeling problems. However, popular unsupervised approaches only exploit surface features in assessing topical coherence among utterances. In this work, we address this limitation by leveraging supervisory signals from the utterance-pair coherence scoring task. First, we present a simple yet effective strategy to generate a training corpus for utterance-pair coherence scoring. Then, we train a BERT-based neural utterance-pair coherence model with the obtained training corpus. Finally, such model is used to measure the topical relevance between utterances, acting as the basis of the segmentation inference. Experiments on three public datasets in English and Chinese demonstrate that our proposal outperforms the state-of-the-art baselines.

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