While participants in a multi-party multi-turn conversation simultaneously engage in multiple conversation topics, existing response selection methods are developed mainly focusing on a two-party single-conversation scenario. Hence, the prolongation and transition of conversation topics are ignored by current methods. In this work, we frame response selection as a dynamic topic tracking task to match the topic between the response and relevant conversation context. With this new formulation, we propose a novel multi-task learning framework that supports efficient encoding through large pretrained models with only two utterances at once to perform dynamic topic disentanglement and response selection. We also propose Topic-BERT an essential pretraining step to embed topic information into BERT with self-supervised learning. Experimental results on the DSTC-8 Ubuntu IRC dataset show state-of-the-art results in response selection and topic disentanglement tasks outperforming existing methods by a good margin.
Response Selection for Multi-Party Conversations with Dynamic Topic Tracking
Weishi Wang, Shafiq Joty, and Steven Hoi. In Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP'20) , pages 6581–-6591, 2020.
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