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Microsoft Icecaps is an open-source toolkit for building neural conversational systems. Icecaps provides an array of tools from recent conversation modeling and general NLP literature within a flexible paradigm that enables complex multi-task learning setups.

Icecaps is currently on version 0.2.0. In this version we introduced several functionalities:

  • Personalization embeddings for transformer models
  • Early stopping variant for performing validation across all saved checkpoints
  • Implementations for both SpaceFusion and StyleFusion
  • New text data processing features, including sorting and trait grounding
  • Tree data processing features from JSON files using the new JSONDataProcessor

Please be aware that future versions of Icecaps will not guarantee backwards compatibility and may cause breaking changes.

Related repository (DialoGPT)

As an orthogonal repository of ICECAPS, we have released a conversational modeling repository based on pytorch-transformer, called DialoGPT. DialoGPT is an open-source large-scale pretrained response generation system trained on 147M multi-turn dialogue from Reddit discussion threads, yielding the state-of-the-art results on public dialogue generation challenges.

  • The repository is based on huggingface pytorch-transformer and OpenAI GPT-2. It contains data extraction script, model training code and pretrained small (117M) medium (345M) and large (762M) model checkpoint. The current version also contains the evaluation pipeline over DSTC-7 challenge.
  • The model is trained on 147M multi-turn dialogues from Reddit discussion threads. The largest model can be trained in several hours, with support for distributed training and FP16 option.
  • The system is easy to deploy by following the instructions, and you are welcome to try this out.


Icecaps is intended for Python environments and is built on top of TensorFlow. We recommend using Icecaps in an Anaconda environment with Python 3.7. Once you have created an environment, run the following command to install all required dependencies:

pip install -r requirements.txt

If your machine has a GPU, we recommend you instead install from requirements-gpu.txt.


We have provided some scripts in the examples/ directory. These scripts will introduce you to Icecaps' architecture, and we encourage you to use them as templates.

examples/ is our "Hello World" script: it builds a simple seq2seq training scenario while demonstrating the basic five-phase pattern that Icecaps scripts follow.

examples/ presents a more complex system that introduces component chaining and multi-task learning, the core aspects of Icecaps' architecture.

Finally, examples/ gives an example of how to convert a raw text dataset to TFRecord files, which Icecaps uses to feed its data pipelines during training.

We plan to publish more tutorials on other kinds of conversational scenarios in the future.

Pre-Trained Systems

We plan to add pre-trained systems based on cutting-edge conversational modeling literature to Icecaps in the future. We had hoped to include these systems with Icecaps at launch. However, given that these systems may produce toxic responses in some contexts, we have decided to explore improved content-filtering techniques before releasing these models to the public. Follow this repository to stay up to date with new pre-trained system releases.


Visit our homepage here:

View our system demonstration paper from ACL 2019 here:


This project welcomes contributions and suggestions. Most contributions require you to agree to a Contributor License Agreement (CLA) declaring that you have the right to, and actually do, grant us the rights to use your contribution. For details, visit

When you submit a pull request, a CLA-bot will automatically determine whether you need to provide a CLA and decorate the PR appropriately (e.g., label, comment). Simply follow the instructions provided by the bot. You will only need to do this once across all repos using our CLA.

This project has adopted the Microsoft Open Source Code of Conduct. For more information see the Code of Conduct FAQ or contact with any additional questions or comments.


Intelligent Conversation Engine: Code and Pre-trained Systems. Version 0.2.0.



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