AAAI 2017
Conference paper

Multiresolution recurrent neural networks: An application to dialogue response generation


We introduce a new class of models called multiresolution recurrent neural networks, which explicitly model natural language generation at multiple levels of abstraction. The models extend the sequence-to-sequence framework to generate two parallel stochastic processes: a sequence of high-level coarse tokens, and a sequence of natural language words (e.g. sentences). The coarse sequences follow a latent stochastic process with a factorial representation, which helps the models generalize to new examples. The coarse sequences can also incorporate task-specific knowledge, when available. In our experiments, the coarse sequences are extracted using automatic procedures, which are designed to capture compositional structure and semantics. These procedures enable training the multiresolution recurrent neural networks by maximizing the exact joint log-likelihood over both sequences. We apply the models to dialogue response generation in the technical support domain and compare them with several competing models. The multiresolution recurrent neural networks outperform competing models by a substantial margin, achieving stateof-the-art results according to both a human evaluation study and automatic evaluation metrics. Furthermore, experiments show the proposed models generate more fluent, relevant and goal-oriented responses.