160 research outputs found

    Understanding confounding effects in linguistic coordination: an information-theoretic approach

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    We suggest an information-theoretic approach for measuring stylistic coordination in dialogues. The proposed measure has a simple predictive interpretation and can account for various confounding factors through proper conditioning. We revisit some of the previous studies that reported strong signatures of stylistic accommodation, and find that a significant part of the observed coordination can be attributed to a simple confounding effect - length coordination. Specifically, longer utterances tend to be followed by longer responses, which gives rise to spurious correlations in the other stylistic features. We propose a test to distinguish correlations in length due to contextual factors (topic of conversation, user verbosity, etc.) and turn-by-turn coordination. We also suggest a test to identify whether stylistic coordination persists even after accounting for length coordination and contextual factors

    Efficient Estimation of Mutual Information for Strongly Dependent Variables

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    We demonstrate that a popular class of nonparametric mutual information (MI) estimators based on k-nearest-neighbor graphs requires number of samples that scales exponentially with the true MI. Consequently, accurate estimation of MI between two strongly dependent variables is possible only for prohibitively large sample size. This important yet overlooked shortcoming of the existing estimators is due to their implicit reliance on local uniformity of the underlying joint distribution. We introduce a new estimator that is robust to local non-uniformity, works well with limited data, and is able to capture relationship strengths over many orders of magnitude. We demonstrate the superior performance of the proposed estimator on both synthetic and real-world data.Comment: 13 pages, to appear in International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics (AISTATS) 201

    Dialog State Tracking: A Neural Reading Comprehension Approach

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    Dialog state tracking is used to estimate the current belief state of a dialog given all the preceding conversation. Machine reading comprehension, on the other hand, focuses on building systems that read passages of text and answer questions that require some understanding of passages. We formulate dialog state tracking as a reading comprehension task to answer the question what is the state of the current dialog?what\ is\ the\ state\ of\ the\ current\ dialog? after reading conversational context. In contrast to traditional state tracking methods where the dialog state is often predicted as a distribution over a closed set of all the possible slot values within an ontology, our method uses a simple attention-based neural network to point to the slot values within the conversation. Experiments on MultiWOZ-2.0 cross-domain dialog dataset show that our simple system can obtain similar accuracies compared to the previous more complex methods. By exploiting recent advances in contextual word embeddings, adding a model that explicitly tracks whether a slot value should be carried over to the next turn, and combining our method with a traditional joint state tracking method that relies on closed set vocabulary, we can obtain a joint-goal accuracy of 47.33%47.33\% on the standard test split, exceeding current state-of-the-art by 11.75%11.75\%**.Comment: 10 pages, to appear in Special Interest Group on Discourse and Dialogue (SIGDIAL) 2019 (ORAL

    CasIL: Cognizing and Imitating Skills via a Dual Cognition-Action Architecture

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    Enabling robots to effectively imitate expert skills in longhorizon tasks such as locomotion, manipulation, and more, poses a long-standing challenge. Existing imitation learning (IL) approaches for robots still grapple with sub-optimal performance in complex tasks. In this paper, we consider how this challenge can be addressed within the human cognitive priors. Heuristically, we extend the usual notion of action to a dual Cognition (high-level)-Action (low-level) architecture by introducing intuitive human cognitive priors, and propose a novel skill IL framework through human-robot interaction, called Cognition-Action-based Skill Imitation Learning (CasIL), for the robotic agent to effectively cognize and imitate the critical skills from raw visual demonstrations. CasIL enables both cognition and action imitation, while high-level skill cognition explicitly guides low-level primitive actions, providing robustness and reliability to the entire skill IL process. We evaluated our method on MuJoCo and RLBench benchmarks, as well as on the obstacle avoidance and point-goal navigation tasks for quadrupedal robot locomotion. Experimental results show that our CasIL consistently achieves competitive and robust skill imitation capability compared to other counterparts in a variety of long-horizon robotic tasks
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