TOD-Flow: Modeling the Structure of Task-Oriented Dialogues.

Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing(2023)

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Task-Oriented Dialogue (TOD) systems have become crucial components in interactive artificial intelligence applications. While recent advances have capitalized on pre-trained language models (PLMs), they exhibit limitations regarding transparency and controllability. To address these challenges, we propose a novel approach focusing on inferring the TOD-Flow graph from dialogue data annotated with dialog acts, uncovering the underlying task structure in the form of a graph. The inferred TOD-Flow graph can be easily integrated with any dialogue model to improve its prediction performance, transparency, and controllability. Our TOD-Flow graph learns what a model can, should, and should not predict, effectively reducing the search space and providing a rationale for the model's prediction. We show that the proposed TOD-Flow graph better resembles human-annotated graphs compared to prior approaches. Furthermore, when combined with several dialogue policies and end-to-end dialogue models, we demonstrate that our approach significantly improves dialog act classification and end-to-end response generation performance in the MultiWOZ and SGD benchmarks. Code available at:
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