Discern: Discourse-Aware Entailment Reasoning Network for Conversational Machine Reading

10/05/2020
by   Yifan Gao, et al.
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Document interpretation and dialog understanding are the two major challenges for conversational machine reading. In this work, we propose Discern, a discourse-aware entailment reasoning network to strengthen the connection and enhance the understanding for both document and dialog. Specifically, we split the document into clause-like elementary discourse units (EDU) using a pre-trained discourse segmentation model, and we train our model in a weakly-supervised manner to predict whether each EDU is entailed by the user feedback in a conversation. Based on the learned EDU and entailment representations, we either reply to the user our final decision "yes/no/irrelevant" of the initial question, or generate a follow-up question to inquiry more information. Our experiments on the ShARC benchmark (blind, held-out test set) show that Discern achieves state-of-the-art results of 78.3 macro-averaged accuracy on decision making and 64.0 BLEU1 on follow-up question generation. Code and models are released at https://github.com/Yifan-Gao/Discern.

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