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Dialogue state tracking requires the population and maintenance of a multi-slot frame representation of the dialogue state. Frequently, dialogue state tracking systems assume independence between slot values within a frame. In this paper we argue that treating the prediction of each slot value as an independent prediction task may ignore important associations between the slot values, and, consequently, we argue that treating dialogue state tracking as a structured prediction problem can help to improve dialogue state tracking performance. To support this argument, the research presented in this paper is structured into three stages: (i) analyzing variable dependencies in dialogue data; (ii) applying an energy-based methodology to model dialogue state tracking as a structured prediction task; and (iii) evaluating the impact of inter-slot relationships on model performance. Overall, we demonstrate that modelling the associations between target slots with an energy-based formalism improves dialogue state tracking performance in a number of ways.
Trinh, A., Ross, R.J. & Kelleher, J. (2019)Capturing Dialogue State Variable Dependencies with an Energy-based Neural Dialogue State Tracker, The SIGDial 2019 Conference,Stockholm, Sweden, 11th-13th September.