Curricular Next Conversation Prediction Pretraining for Transcript Segmentation

Findings of EACL 2023

Published June 6, 2023

Anvesh Rao Vijjini, Hanieh Deilamsalehy, Franck Dernoncourt, Snigdha Chaturvedi

Transcript segmentation is the task of dividing a single continuous transcript into multiple segments. While document segmentation is a popular task, transcript segmentation has significant challenges due to the relatively noisy and sporadic nature of data. We propose pretraining strategies to address these challenges. The strategies are based on ``Next Conversation Prediction'' (NCP) with the underlying idea of pretraining a model to identify consecutive conversations. We further introduce ``Advanced NCP'' to make the pretraining task more relevant to the downstream task of segmentation break prediction while being significantly easier. Finally we introduce a curriculum to Advanced NCP (Curricular NCP) based on the similarity between pretraining and downstream task samples. Curricular NCP applied to a state-of-the-art model for text segmentation outperforms prior results. We also show that our pretraining strategies make the model robust to speech recognition errors commonly found in automatically generated transcripts.