EnsembleGAN: Adversarial Learning for Retrieval-Generation Ensemble Model on Short-Text Conversation

Jiayi Zhang, Chongyang Tao, Zhenjing Xu, Qiaojing Xie, Wei Chen, Rui Yan

Generating qualitative responses has always been a challenge for human-computer dialogue systems. Existing dialogue systems generally derive from either retrieval-based or generative-based approaches, both of which have their own pros and cons. Despite the natural idea of an ensemble model of the two, existing ensemble methods only focused on leveraging one approach to enhance another, we argue however that they can be further mutually enhanced with a proper training strategy. In this paper, we propose ensembleGAN, an adversarial learning framework for enhancing a retrieval-generation ensemble model in open-domain conversation scenario. It consists of a language-model-like generator, a ranker generator, and one ranker discriminator. Aiming at generating responses that approximate the ground-truth and receive high ranking scores from the discriminator, the two generators learn to generate improved highly relevant responses and competitive unobserved candidates respectively, while the discriminative ranker is trained to identify true responses from adversarial ones, thus featuring the merits of both generator counterparts. The experimental results on a large short-text conversation data demonstrate the effectiveness of the ensembleGAN by the amelioration on both human and automatic evaluation metrics.

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