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ABSTRACT: The recent abundance of conversational data on the Web and elsewhere calls for effective NLP systems for dialog understanding. Complete utterance-level understanding often requires context understanding, defined by nearby utterances. In recent years, a number of approaches have been proposed for various utterance-level dialogue understanding tasks. Most of these approaches account for the context for effective understanding. In this talk, I will explore and quantify the role of context for different aspects of dialogue, namely emotion, intent, and dialogue act identification, using state-of-the-art dialog understanding methods as baselines. Specifically, I will discuss various perturbations to distort the context of a given utterance and study its impact on the different tasks and baselines. This provides us with insights into the fundamental contextual controlling factors of different aspects of dialogue. Such insights can inspire more effective dialogue understanding models, and provide support for future text generation approaches. The implementation pertaining to this talk is available at https://github.com/declare-lab/dialogue-understanding.
BIOGRAPHY: Soujanya Poria an assistant professor of Computer Science at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), Singapore. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from the University of Stirling, UK. Soujanya was a recipient of the prestigious early career research award called 'NTU Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowship' in 2018 which offers him a research grant worth US$150,000. Before taking up the presidential fellowship position at the NTU, he was a scientist at the A*STAR and the Temasek Laboratory, NTU. He is also PI of multiple academic and industrial grants with the amount totaling US$ 1,500,000. He has co-authored more than 100 papers, published in top-tier conferences and journals such as ACL, EMNLP, AAAI, NAACL, Neurocomputing, Computational Intelligence Magazine, etc. At present, he is also affiliated with A*STAR, Singapore as a senior scientist. He was an area co-chair at several ACL, NAACL, EMNLP conferences, and a publicity chair at *SEM 2019. He served as a senior PC member at AAAI 2019, IJCAI 2019, and often serve as a PC member in reputed conferences such as ACL, EMNLP, IJCAI, NAACL. He has given several invited talks at venues like CICLing 2018, SocialNLP 2019, and MICAI 2020. He has Google Scholar citations of more than 9000 and his h-index is 45. Recently, he has been awarded the IEEE CIM outstanding paper award. Three of his papers are listed as Web of Science highly cited papers in the field of Computer Science. Recently, in an article published in the Journal of Information Sciences, he has been listed as one of the most prolific and impactful researchers from 2000 to 2016 in the field of sentiment analysis. Soujanya is an associate editor of Cognitive Computation, Information Fusion, and Neurocomputing.