Real-Time Emotion Recognition via Attention Gated Hierarchical Memory Network

  • Wenxiang Jiao The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Michael Lyu The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Irwin King The Chinese University of Hong Kong


Real-time emotion recognition (RTER) in conversations is significant for developing emotionally intelligent chatting machines. Without the future context in RTER, it becomes critical to build the memory bank carefully for capturing historical context and summarize the memories appropriately to retrieve relevant information. We propose an Attention Gated Hierarchical Memory Network (AGHMN) to address the problems of prior work: (1) Commonly used convolutional neural networks (CNNs) for utterance feature extraction are less compatible in the memory modules; (2) Unidirectional gated recurrent units (GRUs) only allow each historical utterance to have context before it, preventing information propagation in the opposite direction; (3) The Soft Attention for summarizing loses the positional and ordering information of memories, regardless of how the memory bank is built. Particularly, we propose a Hierarchical Memory Network (HMN) with a bidirectional GRU (BiGRU) as the utterance reader and a BiGRU fusion layer for the interaction between historical utterances. For memory summarizing, we propose an Attention GRU (AGRU) where we utilize the attention weights to update the internal state of GRU. We further promote the AGRU to a bidirectional variant (BiAGRU) to balance the contextual information from recent memories and that from distant memories. We conduct experiments on two emotion conversation datasets with extensive analysis, demonstrating the efficacy of our AGHMN models.

AAAI Technical Track: Natural Language Processing