"It doesn't look good for a date": Transforming Critiques into Preferences for Conversational Recommendation Systems

Victor S. Bursztyn, Jennifer Healey, Nedim Lipka, Eunyee Koh, Doug Downey, Larry Birnbaum

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Conversations aimed at determining good recommendations are iterative in nature. People often express their preferences in terms of a critique of the current recommendation (e.g., “It doesn't look good for a date”), requiring some degree of common sense for a preference to be inferred. In this work, we present a method for transforming a user critique into a positive preference (e.g., “I prefer more romantic”) in order to retrieve reviews pertaining to potentially better recommendations (e.g., “Perfect for a romantic dinner”). We leverage a large neural language model (LM) in a few-shot setting to perform critique-to-preference transformation, and we test two methods for retrieving recommendations: one that matches embeddings, and another that fine-tunes an LM for the task. We instantiate this approach in the restaurant domain and evaluate it using a new dataset of restaurant critiques. In an ablation study, we show that utilizing critique-to-preference transformation improves recommendations, and that there are at least three general cases that explain this improved performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEMNLP 2021 - 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, Proceedings
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
Pages1913-1918
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781955917094
StatePublished - 2021
Event2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, EMNLP 2021 - Virtual, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Duration: Nov 7 2021Nov 11 2021

Publication series

NameEMNLP 2021 - 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, Proceedings

Conference

Conference2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, EMNLP 2021
Country/TerritoryDominican Republic
CityVirtual, Punta Cana
Period11/7/2111/11/21

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Information Systems

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