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BARCOR: Towards A Unified Framework for Conversational Recommendation Systems

Resources: arXiv.

Recommendation systems focus on helping users find items of interest in the situations of information overload, where users’ preferences are typically estimated by the past observed behaviors. In contrast, conversational recommendation systems (CRS) aim to understand users’ preferences via interactions in conversation flows. CRS is a complex problem that consists of two main tasks: (1) recommendation and (2) response generation. Previous work often tried to solve the problem in a modular manner, where recommenders and response generators are separate neural models. Such modular architectures often come with a complicated and unintuitive connection between the modules, leading to inefficient learning and other issues. In this work, we propose a unified framework based on BART for conversational recommendation, which tackles two tasks in a single model. Furthermore, we also design and collect a lightweight knowledge graph for CRS in the movie domain. The experimental results show that the proposed methods achieve the state-of-the-art performance in terms of both automatic and human evaluation.


Researcher of Natural Language Processing and Dialogue Systems.
Shang-Yu Su