DSTEA: Improving Dialogue State Tracking via Entity Adaptive pre-training

Yukyung Lee, Takyoung Kim, Hoonsang Yoon, Pilsung Kang, Junseong Bang, Misuk Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dialogue State Tracking (DST) is critical for comprehensively interpreting user and system utterances, thereby forming the cornerstone of efficient dialogue systems. Despite past research efforts focused on enhancing DST performance through alterations to the model structure or integrating additional features like graph relations, they often require additional pre-training with external dialogue corpora. In this study, we propose DSTEA, improving Dialogue State Tracking via Entity Adaptive pre-training, which can enhance the encoder through by intensively training key entities in dialogue utterances. DSTEA identifies these pivotal entities from input dialogues utilizing four different methods: ontology information, named-entity recognition, the spaCy toolkit, and the flair library. Subsequently, it employs selective knowledge masking to train the model effectively. Remarkably, DSTEA only requires pre-training without the direct infusion of extra knowledge into the DST model. This approach results in substantial performance improvements of four robust DST models on MultiWOZ 2.0, 2.1, and 2.2, with joint goal accuracy witnessing an increase of up to 2.69% (from 52.41% to 55.10%). Comparative experiments considering various entity types and different entity adaptive pre-training configurations, such as masking strategy and masking rate, further validated the efficacy of DSTEA.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111542
JournalKnowledge-Based Systems
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Apr 22

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Elsevier B.V.


  • Adaptive pre-training
  • Dialogue State Tracking
  • Knowledge-augmented method
  • Task-oriented dialogue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Artificial Intelligence


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