AAAI 2021
Graph-Evolving Meta-Learning for Low-Resource Medical Dialogue Generation
Shuai Lin, Pan Zhou, Xiaodan Liang, Jianheng Tang, Ruihui Zhao, Ziliang Chen, Liang Lin
AAAI 2021


Human doctors with well-structured medical knowledge can diagnose a disease merely via a few conversations with patients about symptoms. In contrast, existing knowledgegrounded dialogue systems often require a large number of dialogue instances to learn as they fail to capture the correlations between different diseases and neglect the diagnostic experience shared among them. To address this issue, we propose a more natural and practical paradigm, i.e., low-resource medical dialogue generation, which can transfer the diagnostic experience from source diseases to target ones with a handful of data for adaptation. It is capitalized on a commonsense knowledge graph to characterize the prior disease-symptom relations. Besides, we develop a Graph-Evolving Meta-Learning (GEML) framework that learns to evolve the commonsense graph for reasoning disease-symptom correlations in a new disease, which effectively alleviates the needs of a large number of dialogues. More importantly, by dynamically evolving disease-symptom graphs, GEML also well addresses the realworld challenges that the disease-symptom correlations of each disease may vary or evolve along with more diagnostic cases. Extensive experiment results on the CMDD dataset and our newly-collected Chunyu dataset testify the superiority of our approach over state-of-the-art approaches. Besides, our GEML can generate an enriched dialogue-sensitive knowledge graph in an online manner, which could benefit other tasks grounded on knowledge graph.







In this work, we propose an end-to-end low-resource medical dialogue generation model which meta-learns a model initialization from source diseases with the ability of fast adaptation to new diseases. Moreover, we develop a Graph-Evolving Meta-Learning (GEML) framework that learns to fast evolve a meta-knowledge graph for adapting to new diseases and reasoning the disease-symptom correlations. Accordingly, our dialogue generation model enjoys the fast learning ability and can well handle low-resource medical dialogue tasks. Experiment results testify the advantages of our approach.