Context-Dependent Embedding Utterance Representations for Emotion Recognition in Conversations


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Emotion Recognition in Conversations (ERC) has been gaining increasing importance as conversational agents become more and more common. Recognizing emotions is key for effective communication, being a crucial component in the development of effective and empathetic conversational agents. Knowledge and understanding of the conversational context are extremely valuable for identifying the emotions of the interlocutor. We thus approach Emotion Recognition in Conversations leveraging the conversational context, i.e., taking into attention previous conversational turns. The usual approach to model the conversational context has been to produce context-independent representations of each utterance and subsequently perform contextual modeling of these. Here we propose context-dependent embedding representations of each utterance by leveraging the contextual representational power of pre-trained transformer language models. In our approach, we feed the conversational context appended to the utterance to be classified as input to the RoBERTa encoder, to which we append a simple classification module, thus discarding the need to deal with context after obtaining the embeddings since these constitute already an efficient representation of such context. We also investigate how the number of introduced conversational turns influences our model performance. The effectiveness of our approach is validated on the widely used open-domain DailyDialog dataset and on the task-oriented EmoWOZ dataset, for which we attain state-of-the-art results, surpassing ERC models also resorting to RoBERTa but with more complex classification modules, indicating that our context-dependent embedding utterance representation approach with a simple classification model can be more effective than context-independent utterance representation approaches with more complex classification modules.
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Key words
utterance representations,conversations,emotion
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