Personal Attribute Prediction from Conversations

Yinan Liu, Hu Chen, Wei Shen

Personal knowledge bases (PKBs) are critical to many applications, such as Web-based chatbots and personalized recommendation. Conversations containing rich personal knowledge can be regarded as a main source to populate the PKB. Given a user, a user attribute, and user utterances from a conversational system, we aim to predict the personal attribute value for the user, which is helpful for the enrichment of PKBs. However, there are three issues existing in previous studies: (1) manually labeled utterances are required for model training; (2) personal attribute knowledge embedded in both utterances and external resources is underutilized; (3) the performance on predicting some difficult personal attributes is unsatisfactory. In this paper, we propose a framework DSCGN based on the pre-trained language model with a noise-robust loss function to predict personal attributes from conversations without requiring any labeled utterances. We yield two categories of supervision, i.e., document-level supervision via a distant supervision strategy and contextualized word-level supervision via a label guessing method, by mining the personal attribute knowledge embedded in both unlabeled utterances and external resources to fine-tune the language model. Extensive experiments over two real-world data sets (i.e., a profession data set and a hobby data set) show our framework obtains the best performance compared with all the twelve baselines in terms of nDCG and MRR.

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