Conditioned Text Generation with Transfer for Closed-Domain Dialogue Systems

11/03/2020
by   Stéphane d'Ascoli, et al.
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Scarcity of training data for task-oriented dialogue systems is a well known problem that is usually tackled with costly and time-consuming manual data annotation. An alternative solution is to rely on automatic text generation which, although less accurate than human supervision, has the advantage of being cheap and fast. Our contribution is twofold. First we show how to optimally train and control the generation of intent-specific sentences using a conditional variational autoencoder. Then we introduce a new protocol called query transfer that allows to leverage a large unlabelled dataset, possibly containing irrelevant queries, to extract relevant information. Comparison with two different baselines shows that this method, in the appropriate regime, consistently improves the diversity of the generated queries without compromising their quality. We also demonstrate the effectiveness of our generation method as a data augmentation technique for language modelling tasks.

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