Re3Dial: Retrieve, Reorganize and Rescale Conversations for Long-Turn Open-Domain Dialogue Pre-training


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Pre-training on large-scale open-domain dialogue data can substantially improve the performance of dialogue models. However, the pre-trained dialogue model’s ability to utilize long-range context is limited due to the scarcity of long-turn dialogue sessions. Most dialogues in existing pre-training corpora contain fewer than three turns of dialogue. To alleviate this issue, we propose the Retrieve, Reorganize and Rescale framework (Re3Dial), which can automatically construct billion-scale long-turn dialogues by reorganizing existing short-turn ones. Given a short-turn session, Re3Dial first employs a session retriever to retrieve coherent consecutive sessions. To this end, we train the retriever to capture semantic and discourse relations within multi-turn dialogues through contrastive training. Next, Re3Dial samples a session from retrieved results following a diversity sampling strategy, which is designed to penalize repetitive or generic sessions. A longer session is then derived by concatenating the original session and the sampled session. By repeating the above process, Re3Dial can yield a coherent long-turn dialogue. Extensive experiments on multiple multi-turn dialogue benchmarks demonstrate that Re3Dial significantly improves the dialogue model’s ability to utilize long-range context and thus generate more sensible and informative responses. Finally, we build a toolkit for efficiently rescaling conversations with Re3Dial, which enables us to construct a corpus containing 1B Chinese dialogue sessions with 11.3 turns on average (5X longer than the original corpus). We will release our retriever model, toolkit, and data for public use.
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