|Sebastian Krause, Mikhail Kozhevnikov, Eric Malmi and Daniele Pighin|
Conversational agents offer users a naturallanguage interface to accomplish tasks, entertain themselves, or access information. Informational dialogue is particularly challenging in that the agent has to hold a conversation on an open topic, and to achieve a reasonable coverage it generally needs to digest and present unstructured information from textual sources. Making responses based on such sources sound natural and fit appropriately into the conversation context is a topic of ongoing research, one of the key issues of which is preventing the agent’s responses from sounding repetitive. Targeting this issue, we propose a new task, known as redundancy localization, which aims to pinpoint semantic overlap between text passages. To help address it systematically, we formalize the task, prepare a public dataset with fine-grained redundancy labels, and propose a model utilizing a weak training signal defined over the results of a passage-retrieval system on web texts. The proposed model demonstrates superior performance compared to a state-of-the-art entailment model and yields encouraging results when applied to a real-world dialogue.