Published on Mon Feb 08 2021

A Hybrid Task-Oriented Dialog System with Domain and Task Adaptive Pretraining

Boliang Zhang, Ying Lyu, Ning Ding, Tianhao Shen, Zhaoyang Jia, Kun Han, Kevin Knight

This paper describes our submission for the End-to-end Multi-domain Task Completed Dialog shared task at the 9th Dialog System Technology Challenge. We make our source code publicly available. Our proposed method significantly outperforms baselines and ties for first place in official evaluation.

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Abstract

This paper describes our submission for the End-to-end Multi-domain Task Completion Dialog shared task at the 9th Dialog System Technology Challenge (DSTC-9). Participants in the shared task build an end-to-end task completion dialog system which is evaluated by human evaluation and a user simulator based automatic evaluation. Different from traditional pipelined approaches where modules are optimized individually and suffer from cascading failure, we propose an end-to-end dialog system that 1) uses Generative Pretraining 2 (GPT-2) as the backbone to jointly solve Natural Language Understanding, Dialog State Tracking, and Natural Language Generation tasks, 2) adopts Domain and Task Adaptive Pretraining to tailor GPT-2 to the dialog domain before finetuning, 3) utilizes heuristic pre/post-processing rules that greatly simplify the prediction tasks and improve generalizability, and 4) equips a fault tolerance module to correct errors and inappropriate responses. Our proposed method significantly outperforms baselines and ties for first place in the official evaluation. We make our source code publicly available.