User Simulation with Large Language Models for Evaluating Task-Oriented Dialogue


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One of the major impediments to the development of new task-oriented dialogue (TOD) systems is the need for human evaluation at multiple stages and iterations of the development process. In an effort to move toward automated evaluation of TOD, we propose a novel user simulator built using recently developed large pretrained language models (LLMs). In order to increase the linguistic diversity of our system relative to the related previous work, we do not fine-tune the LLMs used by our system on existing TOD datasets; rather we use in-context learning to prompt the LLMs to generate robust and linguistically diverse output with the goal of simulating the behavior of human interlocutors. Unlike previous work, which sought to maximize goal success rate (GSR) as the primary metric of simulator performance, our goal is a system which achieves a GSR similar to that observed in human interactions with TOD systems. Using this approach, our current simulator is effectively able to interact with several TOD systems, especially on single-intent conversational goals, while generating lexically and syntactically diverse output relative to previous simulators that rely upon fine-tuned models. Finally, we collect a Human2Bot dataset of humans interacting with the same TOD systems with which we experimented in order to better quantify these achievements.
large language models,dialogue,simulation,task-oriented
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