Besnik Fetahu


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Dynamic Gazetteer Integration in Multilingual Models for Cross-Lingual and Cross-Domain Named Entity Recognition
Besnik Fetahu | Anjie Fang | Oleg Rokhlenko | Shervin Malmasi
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Named entity recognition (NER) in a real-world setting remains challenging and is impacted by factors like text genre, corpus quality, and data availability. NER models trained on CoNLL do not transfer well to other domains, even within the same language. This is especially the case for multi-lingual models when applied to low-resource languages, and is mainly due to missing entity information. We propose an approach that with limited effort and data, addresses the NER knowledge gap across languages and domains. Our novel approach uses a token-level gating layer to augment pre-trained multilingual transformers with gazetteers containing named entities (NE) from a target language or domain.This approach provides the flexibility to jointly integrate both textual and gazetteer information dynamically: entity knowledge from gazetteers is used only when a token’s textual representation is insufficient for the NER task.Evaluation on several languages and domains demonstrates: (i) a high mismatch of reported NER performance on CoNLL vs. domain specific datasets, (ii) gazetteers significantly improve NER performance across languages and domains, and (iii) gazetteers can be flexibly incorporated to guide knowledge transfer. On cross-lingual transfer we achieve an improvement over the baseline with F1=+17.6%, and with F1=+21.3% for cross-domain transfer.

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SDR: Efficient Neural Re-ranking using Succinct Document Representation
Nachshon Cohen | Amit Portnoy | Besnik Fetahu | Amir Ingber
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

BERT based ranking models have achieved superior performance on various information retrieval tasks. However, the large number of parameters and complex self-attention operations come at a significant latency overhead. To remedy this, recent works propose late-interaction architectures, which allow pre-computation of intermediate document representations, thus reducing latency. Nonetheless, having solved the immediate latency issue, these methods now introduce storage costs and network fetching latency, which limit their adoption in real-life production systems.In this work, we propose the Succinct Document Representation (SDR) scheme that computes highly compressed intermediate document representations, mitigating the storage/network issue. Our approach first reduces the dimension of token representations by encoding them using a novel autoencoder architecture that uses the document’s textual content in both the encoding and decoding phases. After this token encoding step, we further reduce the size of the document representations using modern quantization techniques. Evaluation on MSMARCO’s passage re-reranking task show that compared to existing approaches using compressed document representations, our method is highly efficient, achieving 4x–11.6x higher compression rates for the same ranking quality. Similarly, on the TREC CAR dataset, we achieve 7.7x higher compression rate for the same ranking quality.

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SemEval-2022 Task 11: Multilingual Complex Named Entity Recognition (MultiCoNER)
Shervin Malmasi | Anjie Fang | Besnik Fetahu | Sudipta Kar | Oleg Rokhlenko
Proceedings of the 16th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2022)

We present the findings of SemEval-2022 Task 11 on Multilingual Complex Named Entity Recognition MULTICONER. Divided into 13 tracks, the task focused on methods to identify complex named entities (like names of movies, products and groups) in 11 languages in both monolingual and multi-lingual scenarios. Eleven tracks required building monolingual NER models for individual languages, one track focused on multilingual models able to work on all languages, and the last track featured code-mixed texts within any of these languages. The task is based on the MULTICONER dataset comprising of 2.3 millions instances in Bangla, Chinese, Dutch, English, Farsi, German, Hindi, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish. Results showed that methods fusing external knowledge into transformer models achieved the best results. However, identifying entities like creative works is still challenging even with external knowledge. MULTICONER was one of the most popular tasks in SemEval-2022 and it attracted 377 participants during the practice phase. 236 participants signed up for the final test phase and 55 teams submitted their systems.


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Neural OCR Post-Hoc Correction of Historical Corpora
Lijun Lyu | Maria Koutraki | Martin Krickl | Besnik Fetahu
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 9

Abstract Optical character recognition (OCR) is crucial for a deeper access to historical collections. OCR needs to account for orthographic variations, typefaces, or language evolution (i.e., new letters, word spellings), as the main source of character, word, or word segmentation transcription errors. For digital corpora of historical prints, the errors are further exacerbated due to low scan quality and lack of language standardization. For the task of OCR post-hoc correction, we propose a neural approach based on a combination of recurrent (RNN) and deep convolutional network (ConvNet) to correct OCR transcription errors. At character level we flexibly capture errors, and decode the corrected output based on a novel attention mechanism. Accounting for the input and output similarity, we propose a new loss function that rewards the model’s correcting behavior. Evaluation on a historical book corpus in German language shows that our models are robust in capturing diverse OCR transcription errors and reduce the word error rate of 32.3% by more than 89%.


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Fine Grained Citation Span for References in Wikipedia
Besnik Fetahu | Katja Markert | Avishek Anand
Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Verifiability is one of the core editing principles in Wikipedia, where editors are encouraged to provide citations for the added content. For a Wikipedia article determining what content is covered by a citation or the citation span is not trivial, an important aspect for automated citation finding for uncovered content, or fact assessments. We address the problem of determining the citation span in Wikipedia articles. We approach this problem by classifying which textual fragments in an article are covered or hold true given a citation. We propose a sequence classification approach where for a paragraph and a citation, we determine the citation span at a fine-grained level. We provide a thorough experimental evaluation and compare our approach against baselines adopted from the scientific domain, where we show improvement for all evaluation metrics.