Recognizing Emotion Cause in Conversations

We address the problem of recognizing emotion cause in conversations, define two novel sub-tasks of this problem, and provide a corresponding dialogue-level dataset, along with strong Transformer-based baselines. The dataset is available at Introduction: Recognizing the cause behind emotions in text is a fundamental yet under-explored area of research in NLP. Advances in this area hold the potential to improve interpretability and performance in affect-based models. Identifying emotion causes at the utterance level in conversations is particularly challenging due to the intermingling dynamics among the interlocutors. Method: We introduce the task of Recognizing Emotion Cause in CONversations with an accompanying dataset named RECCON, containing over 1,000 dialogues and 10,000 utterance cause-effect pairs. Furthermore, we define different cause types based on the source of the causes, and establish strong Transformer-based baselines to address two different sub-tasks on this dataset: causal span extraction and causal emotion entailment. Result: Our Transformer-based baselines, which leverage contextual pre-trained embeddings, such as RoBERTa, outperform the state-of-the-art emotion cause extraction approaches Conclusion: We introduce a new task highly relevant for (explainable) emotion-aware artificial intelligence: recognizing emotion cause in conversations, provide a new highly challenging publicly available dialogue-level dataset for this task, and give strong baseline results on this dataset.

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