Open Intent Extraction from Natural Language Interactions (Extended Abstract)

Pranav ManerikerSrinivasan Parthasarathy

Abstract

Accurately discovering user intents from their written or spoken language plays a critical role in natural language understanding and automated dialog response. Most existing research models this as a classification task with a single intent label per utterance. Going beyond this formulation, we define and investigate a new problem of open intent discovery. It involves discovering one or more generic intent types from text utterances, that may not have been encountered during training. We propose a novel, domain-agnostic approach, OPINE, which formulates the problem as a sequence tagging task in an open-world setting. It employs a CRF on top of a bidirectional LSTM to extract intents in a consistent format, subject to constraints among intent tag labels. We apply multi-headed self-attention and adversarial training to effectively learn dependencies between distant words, and robustly adapt our model across varying domains. We also curate and release an intent-annotated dataset of 25K real-life utterances spanning diverse domains. Extensive experiments show that OPINE outperforms state-of-art baselines by 5-15% F1 score.

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