Towards Handling Unconstrained User Preferences in Dialogue

17 Sep 2021  ·  Suraj Pandey, Svetlana Stoyanchev, Rama Doddipatla ·

A user input to a schema-driven dialogue information navigation system, such as venue search, is typically constrained by the underlying database which restricts the user to specify a predefined set of preferences, or slots, corresponding to the database fields. We envision a more natural information navigation dialogue interface where a user has flexibility to specify unconstrained preferences that may not match a predefined schema. We propose to use information retrieval from unstructured knowledge to identify entities relevant to a user request. We update the Cambridge restaurants database with unstructured knowledge snippets (reviews and information from the web) for each of the restaurants and annotate a set of query-snippet pairs with a relevance label. We use the annotated dataset to train and evaluate snippet relevance classifiers, as a proxy to evaluating recommendation accuracy. We show that with a pretrained transformer model as an encoder, an unsupervised/supervised classifier achieves a weighted F1 of .661/.856.

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