Virtual presentation / poster accept

DiffuSeq: Sequence to Sequence Text Generation with Diffusion Models

Shansan Gong · Mukai Li · Jiangtao Feng · Zhiyong Wu · Lingpeng Kong

MH1-2-3-4 #52

Keywords: [ Generative models ] [ sequence to sequence ] [ diffusion model ] [ text generation ] [ diveristy ]

[ Abstract ]
[ Poster [ OpenReview
Mon 1 May 2:30 a.m. PDT — 4:30 a.m. PDT


Recently, diffusion models have emerged as a new paradigm for generative models. Despite the success in domains using continuous signals such as vision and audio, adapting diffusion models to natural language is under-explored due to the discrete nature of texts, especially for conditional generation. We tackle this challenge by proposing DiffuSeq: a diffusion model designed for sequence-to-sequence (Seq2Seq) text generation tasks. Upon extensive evaluation over a wide range of Seq2Seq tasks, we find DiffuSeq achieving comparable or even better performance than six established baselines, including a state-of-the-art model that is based on pre-trained language models. Apart from quality, an intriguing property of DiffuSeq is its high diversity during generation, which is desired in many Seq2Seq tasks. We further include a theoretical analysis revealing the connection between DiffuSeq and autoregressive/non-autoregressive models. Bringing together theoretical analysis and empirical evidence, we demonstrate the great potential of diffusion models in complex conditional language generation tasks. Code is available at

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