Follow-up question generation using pattern-based seq2seq with a small corpus for interview coaching

Ming Hsiang Su, Chung Hsien Wu, Kun Yi Huang, Qian Bei Hong, Huai Hung Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Interview is a vital part of recruitment process and is especially challenging for the beginners. In an interactive and natural interview, the interviewers would ask follow-up questions or request further elaborations when they are not satisfied with the interviewee's initial response. In this study, as only a small interview corpus is available, a pattern-based sequence to sequence (Seq2seq) model is adopted for follow-up question generation. First, word clustering is employed to automatically transform the question/answer sentences into sentence patterns, in which each sentence pattern is composed of word classes, to decrease the complexity of the sentence structures. Next, the convolutional neural tensor network (CNTN) is used to select a target sentence in an interviewee's answer turn for follow-up question generation. In order to generate the follow-up question pattern, the selected target sentence pattern is fed to a Seq2seq model to obtain the corresponding follow-up question pattern. Then the word class positions in the generated follow-up question sentence pattern is filled in with the words using a word class table obtained from the training corpus. Finally, the n-gram language model is used to rank the candidate follow-up questions and choose the most suitable one as the response to the interviewee. This study collected 3390 follow-up question and answer sentence pairs for training and evaluation. Five-fold cross validation was employed and the experimental results show that the proposed method outperformed the traditional word-based method, and achieved a more favorable performance based on a statistical significance test.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1006-1010
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, INTERSPEECH
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event19th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication, INTERSPEECH 2018 - Hyderabad, India
Duration: 2018 Sep 22018 Sep 6

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Signal Processing
  • Software
  • Modelling and Simulation


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