Perspective-taking and Pragmatics for Generating Empathetic Responses Focused on Emotion Causes

EMNLP 2021  ·  Hyunwoo Kim, Byeongchang Kim, Gunhee Kim ·

Empathy is a complex cognitive ability based on the reasoning of others' affective states. In order to better understand others and express stronger empathy in dialogues, we argue that two issues must be tackled at the same time: (i) identifying which word is the cause for the other's emotion from his or her utterance and (ii) reflecting those specific words in the response generation. However, previous approaches for recognizing emotion cause words in text require sub-utterance level annotations, which can be demanding. Taking inspiration from social cognition, we leverage a generative estimator to infer emotion cause words from utterances with no word-level label. Also, we introduce a novel method based on pragmatics to make dialogue models focus on targeted words in the input during generation. Our method is applicable to any dialogue models with no additional training on the fly. We show our approach improves multiple best-performing dialogue agents on generating more focused empathetic responses in terms of both automatic and human evaluation.

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Datasets


Introduced in the Paper:

EmoCause

Used in the Paper:

EmpatheticDialogues RECCON
Task Dataset Model Metric Name Metric Value Global Rank Result Benchmark
Recognizing Emotion Cause in Conversations EmoCause Human Top-1 Recall 41.3 # 1
Top-3 Recall 81.1 # 1
Top-5 Recall 95.0 # 1
Recognizing Emotion Cause in Conversations EmoCause Random Top-1 Recall 10.7 # 6
Top-3 Recall 30.6 # 6
Top-5 Recall 48.5 # 6
Recognizing Emotion Cause in Conversations EmoCause EmpDG Top-1 Recall 13.4 # 4
Top-3 Recall 36.2 # 4
Top-5 Recall 49.3 # 5
Recognizing Emotion Cause in Conversations EmoCause RAKE Top-1 Recall 12.7 # 5
Top-3 Recall 35.8 # 5
Top-5 Recall 55.0 # 4
Recognizing Emotion Cause in Conversations EmoCause BERT-Attention Top-1 Recall 13.8 # 3
Top-3 Recall 40.6 # 3
Top-5 Recall 61.2 # 3
Recognizing Emotion Cause in Conversations EmoCause GEE Top-1 Recall 17.3 # 2
Top-3 Recall 48.1 # 2
Top-5 Recall 68.4 # 2

Methods