Dialogue models are often enriched with extensive external knowledge to provide informative responses through a retrieval-augmented pipeline.
Nevertheless, retrieval-augmented approaches rely on finely annotated retrieval training data and knowledge-grounded response generation data, making it costly to transfer.
To tackle this challenge, this paper proposed a retrieval-free approach, KiDG, by automatically turning knowledge documents into simulated multi-turn dialogues through a Multi-Document Traversal algorithm.
The simulated knowledge-intensive dialogues constructed by KiDG in one domain can be easily used to train and enhance pre-trained dialogue models' knowledge w.r.t. this domain without costly annotation.
We conduct extensive experiments comparing retrieval-augmented models and a variety of retrieval-free models.
We found that dialogue models enhanced with data simulated with KiDG largely outperform state-of-the-art retrieval-free methods, and it achieves comparable performance compared to retrieval-augmented methods while being better, and cheaper at domain transfer.