Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 33 (NeurIPS 2020)
Linxiao Li, Can Xu, Wei Wu, YUFAN ZHAO, Xueliang Zhao, Chongyang Tao
While neural conversation models have shown great potentials towards generating informative and engaging responses via introducing external knowledge, learning such a model often requires knowledge-grounded dialogues that are difficult to obtain. To overcome the data challenge and reduce the cost of building a knowledge-grounded dialogue system, we explore the problem under a zero-resource setting by assuming no context-knowledge-response triples are needed for training. To this end, we propose representing the knowledge that bridges a context and a response and the way that the knowledge is expressed as latent variables, and devise a variational approach that can effectively estimate a generation model from independent dialogue corpora and knowledge corpora. Evaluation results on three benchmarks of knowledge-grounded dialogue generation indicate that our model can achieve comparable performance with state-of-the-art methods that rely on knowledge-grounded dialogues for training, and exhibits a good generalization ability over different datasets.