Structured Chain-of-Thought Prompting for Few-Shot Generation of Content-Grounded QA Conversations

19 Feb 2024  ·  Md Arafat Sultan, Jatin Ganhotra, Ramón Fernandez Astudillo ·

We introduce a structured chain-of-thought (SCoT) prompting approach to generating content-grounded multi-turn question-answer conversations using a pre-trained large language model (LLM). At the core of our proposal is a structured breakdown of the complex task into a number of states in a state machine, so that actions corresponding to various subtasks, e.g., content reading and utterance generation, can be executed in their own dedicated states. Each state leverages a unique set of resources including prompts and (optionally) additional tools to augment the generation process. Our experimental results show that SCoT prompting with designated states for hallucination mitigation increases agent faithfulness to grounding documents by up to 16.8%. When used as training data, our open-domain conversations synthesized from only 6 Wikipedia-based seed demonstrations train strong conversational QA agents; in out-of-domain evaluation, for example, we observe improvements of up to 13.9% over target domain gold data when the latter is augmented with our generated examples.

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