Towards Multi-label Unknown Intent Detection

Multi-class unknown intent detection has made remarkable progress recently. However, it has a strong assumption that each utterance has only one intent, which does not conform to reality because utterances often have multiple intents. In this paper, we propose a more desirable task, multi-label unknown intent detection, to detect whether the utterance contains the unknown intent, in which each utterance may contain multiple intents. In this task, the unique utterances simultaneously containing known and unknown intents make existing multi-class methods easy to fail. To address this issue, we propose an intuitive and effective method to recognize whether All Intents contained in the utterance are Known (AIK). Our high-level idea is to predict the utterance’s intent number, then check whether the utterance contains the same number of known intents. If the number of known intents is less than the number of intents, it implies that the utterance also contains unknown intents. We benchmark AIK over existing methods, and empirical results suggest that our method obtains state-of-the-art performances. For example, on the MultiWOZ 2.3 dataset, AIK significantly reduces the FPR95 by 12.25% compared to the best baseline.

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