Czech RestaurantStructure-to-Text

Table of Contents

Dataset Description

Dataset and Task Summary

The task is generating responses in the context of a (hypothetical) dialogue system that provides information about restaurants. The input is a basic intent/dialogue act type and a list of slots (attributes) and their values. The output is a natural language sentence.

The data originated as a translation and localization of Wen et al.'s SF restaurant NLG dataset.

Why is this dataset part of GEM?

This is one of a few non-English data-to-text datasets, in a well-known domain, but covering a morphologically rich language that is harder to generate since named entities need to be inflected. This makes it harder to apply common techniques such as delexicalization or copy mechanisms.



Meta Information

Dataset Curators

Ondrej Dusek, Filip Jurcicek (Charles University, Prague, Czechia)

Licensing Information

CC 4.0 BY-SA (Creative Commons 4.0 Attribution – Share-Alike)

Citation Information

	address = {Tokyo, Japan},
	title = {Neural {Generation} for {Czech}: {Data} and {Baselines}},
	shorttitle = {Neural {Generation} for {Czech}},
	url = {},
	urldate = {2019-10-18},
	booktitle = {Proceedings of the 12th {International} {Conference} on {Natural} {Language} {Generation} ({INLG} 2019)},
	author = {Dušek, Ondřej and Jurčíček, Filip},
	month = oct,
	year = {2019},
	pages = {563--574},


Dataset Structure

Data Instances

All instances are input-output pairs.

Input (meaning representation -- intent/dialogue act type + a set of slot/attribute-value pairs):

inform_only_match(food=Turkish,name='Švejk Restaurant',near='Charles Bridge',price_range=cheap)

Output (natural language text):

Našla jsem pouze jednu levnou restauraci poblíž Karlova mostu , kde podávají tureckou kuchyni , Švejk Restaurant .

Translation: I only found one cheap restaurant close to Charles Bridge, which serves Turkish cuisine, Švejk Restaurant.

Note that “Karlova Mostu” (Charles Bridge) is an inflected form in the example -- the base form is “Karlův Most”.

Data Fields

The data is stored in a JSON or CSV format, with identical contents. The data has 4 fields:

  • da: the input meaning representation/dialogue act (MR)
  • delex_da: the input MR, delexicalized -- all slot values are replaced with placeholders, such as X-name
  • text: the corresponding target natural language text (reference)
  • delex_text: the target text, delexicalized (delexicalization is applied regardless of inflection)

In addition, the data contains a JSON file with all possible inflected forms for all slot values in the dataset (surface_forms.json). Each slot -> value entry contains a list of inflected forms for the given value, with the base form (lemma), the inflected form, and a morphological tag.

The same MR is often repeated multiple times with different synonymous reference texts.

Data Statistics

Property Value
Total instances 5,192
Unique MRs 2,417
Unique delexicalized instances 2,752
Unique delexicalized MRs 248

The data is split in a roughly 3:1:1 proportion into training, development and test sections, making sure no delexicalized MR appears in two different parts. On the other hand, most DA types/intents are represented in all data parts.

Dataset Creation

Curation Rationale

The dataset was created to test neural NLG systems in Czech and their ability to deal with rich morphology.

Communicative Goal

Producing a text expressing the given intent/dialogue act and all and only the attributes specified in the input MR.

Source Data

Initial Data Collection and Normalization

The input MRs were collected from Wen et al.'s SF restaurant NLG data and localized by randomly replacing slot values (using a list of Prague restaurant names, neighborhoods etc.).

The generated slot values were then automatically replaced in reference texts in the data.

Who are the source language producers?

N/A (dataset authors).


Annotation process

The reference texts were created by translating the SF restaurant texts with replaced slot values.

The translated texts were then checked for consistency semi-automatically (searching the texts for slot values, manually checking for alternative realizations if a value was not found).

Who are the annotators?

6 professional translators (+ semi-manual postediting done by the authors).

Personal and Sensitive Information

None present.

Changes to the Original Dataset for GEM

For this dataset, we identified different subsets of the test set that we could compare to each other so that we would have a better understanding of the results. There are currently two selections that we have made:

The first comparison is based on input size: the number of predicates differs between different inputs, ranging from 1 to 5. The table below provides an indication of the distribution of inputs with a particular length. It is clear from the table that this distribution is not balanced, and comparisions between items should be done with caution. Particularly for input size 4 and 5, there may not be enough data to draw reliable conclusions.

Input length Number of inputs
1 183
2 267
3 297
4 86
5 9

The second comparison is based on the type of act. Again we caution against comparing the different groups that have relatively few items. It is probably OK to compare inform and ?request, but the other acts are all low-frequent.

Act Frequency
?request 149
inform 609
?confirm 22
inform_only_match 16
inform_no_match 34
?select 12

Considerations for Using the Data

Social Impact of the Dataset


Impact on Underserved Communities

May improve NLG methods for morphologically rich languages.

Discussion of Biases

To ensure consistency of translation, the data always uses formal/polite address for the user, and uses the female form for first-person self-references (as if the dialogue agent producing the sentences was female). This prevents data sparsity and ensures consistent results for systems trained on the dataset, but does not represent all potential situations arising in Czech.

Other Known Limitations

The test set may lead users to over-estimate the performance of their NLG systems with respect to their generalisability, because there are no unseen restaurants or addresses in the test set. This is something we will look into for future editions of the GEM shared task.

Getting started with in-depth research on the task

[More Information Needed]