Entity Linking (EL) maps an entity mention in a natural language sentence to an entity in a knowledge base (KB). The Zero-shot Entity Linking (ZEL) extends the scope of EL to unseen entities at the test time without requiring new labeled data. BLINK (BERT-based) is one of the SOTA models for ZEL. Interestingly, we discovered that BLINK exhibits diminishing returns, i.e., it reaches 98% of its performance with just 1% of the training data and the remaining 99% of the data yields only a marginal increase of 2% in the performance. While this extra 2% gain makes a huge difference for downstream tasks, training BLINK on large amounts of data is very resource-intensive and impractical. In this paper, we propose a neuro-symbolic, multi-task learning approach to bridge this gap. Our approach boosts the BLINK’s performance with much less data by exploiting an auxiliary information about entity types. Specifically, we train our model on two tasks simultaneously - entity linking (primary task) and hierarchical entity type prediction (auxiliary task). The auxiliary task exploits the hierarchical structure of entity types. Our approach achieves superior performance on ZEL task with significantly less training data. On four different benchmark datasets, we show that our approach achieves significantly higher performance than SOTA models when they are trained with just 0.01%, 0.1%, or 1% of the original training data. Our code is available at https://github.com/IBM/NeSLET.
BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) and related pre-trained Transformers have provided large gains across many language understanding tasks, achieving a new state-of-the-art (SOTA). BERT is pretrained on two auxiliary tasks: Masked Language Model and Next Sentence Prediction. In this paper we introduce a new pre-training task inspired by reading comprehension to better align the pre-training from memorization to understanding. Span Selection PreTraining (SSPT) poses cloze-like training instances, but rather than draw the answer from the model’s parameters, it is selected from a relevant passage. We find significant and consistent improvements over both BERT-BASE and BERT-LARGE on multiple Machine Reading Comprehension (MRC) datasets. Specifically, our proposed model has strong empirical evidence as it obtains SOTA results on Natural Questions, a new benchmark MRC dataset, outperforming BERT-LARGE by 3 F1 points on short answer prediction. We also show significant impact in HotpotQA, improving answer prediction F1 by 4 points and supporting fact prediction F1 by 1 point and outperforming the previous best system. Moreover, we show that our pre-training approach is particularly effective when training data is limited, improving the learning curve by a large amount.