Poster
Approximating Interactive Human Evaluation with Self-Play for Open-Domain Dialog Systems
Asma Ghandeharioun · Judy Hanwen Shen · Natasha Jaques · Craig Ferguson · Noah Jones · Agata Lapedriza · Rosalind Picard

Tue Dec 10th 10:45 AM -- 12:45 PM @ East Exhibition Hall B + C #83

Building an open-domain conversational agent is a challenging problem. Current evaluation methods, mostly post-hoc judgments of static conversation, do not capture conversation quality in a realistic interactive context. In this paper, we investigate interactive human evaluation and provide evidence for its necessity; we then introduce a novel, model-agnostic, and dataset-agnostic method to approximate it. In particular, we propose a self-play scenario where the dialog system talks to itself and we calculate a combination of proxies such as sentiment and semantic coherence on the conversation trajectory. We show that this metric is capable of capturing the human-rated quality of a dialog model better than any automated metric known to-date, achieving a significant Pearson correlation (r>.7, p<.05). To investigate the strengths of this novel metric and interactive evaluation in comparison to state-of-the-art metrics and human evaluation of static conversations, we perform extended experiments with a set of models, including several that make novel improvements to recent hierarchical dialog generation architectures through sentiment and semantic knowledge distillation on the utterance level. Finally, we open-source the interactive evaluation platform we built and the dataset we collected to allow researchers to efficiently deploy and evaluate dialog models.

Author Information

Asma Ghandeharioun (MIT)
Judy Hanwen Shen (Microsoft)
Natasha Jaques (MIT)
Craig Ferguson (MIT)
Noah Jones (MIT)
Agata Lapedriza (FundaciĆ³ per a la Universitat Oberta de Catalunya)
Rosalind Picard (MIT Media Lab)

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