Entity linking disambiguates mentions by mapping them to entities in a knowledge graph (KG). One important question in today’s research is how to extend neural entity linking systems to new domains. In this paper, we aim at a system that enables linking mentions to entities from a general-domain KG and a domain-specific KG at the same time. In particular, we represent the entities of different KGs in a joint vector space and address the questions of which data is best suited for creating and fine-tuning that space, and whether fine-tuning harms performance on the general domain. We find that a combination of data from both the general and the special domain is most helpful. The first is especially necessary for avoiding performance loss on the general domain. While additional supervision on entities that appear in both KGs performs best in an intrinsic evaluation of the vector space, it has less impact on the downstream task of entity linking.
Patent Landscaping, one of the central tasks of intellectual property management, includes selecting and grouping patents according to user-defined technical or application-oriented criteria. While recent transformer-based models have been shown to be effective for classifying patents into taxonomies such as CPC or IPC, there is yet little research on how to support real-world Patent Landscape Studies (PLSs) using natural language processing methods. With this paper, we release three labeled datasets for PLS-oriented classification tasks covering two diverse domains. We provide a qualitative analysis and report detailed corpus statistics.Most research on neural models for patents has been restricted to leveraging titles and abstracts. We compare strong neural and non-neural baselines, proposing a novel model that takes into account textual information from the patents’ full texts as well as embeddings created based on the patents’ CPC labels. We find that for PLS-oriented classification tasks, going beyond title and abstract is crucial, CPC labels are an effective source of information, and combining all features yields the best results.
Combining several embeddings typically improves performance in downstream tasks as different embeddings encode different information. It has been shown that even models using embeddings from transformers still benefit from the inclusion of standard word embeddings. However, the combination of embeddings of different types and dimensions is challenging. As an alternative to attention-based meta-embeddings, we propose feature-based adversarial meta-embeddings (FAME) with an attention function that is guided by features reflecting word-specific properties, such as shape and frequency, and show that this is beneficial to handle subword-based embeddings. In addition, FAME uses adversarial training to optimize the mappings of differently-sized embeddings to the same space. We demonstrate that FAME works effectively across languages and domains for sequence labeling and sentence classification, in particular in low-resource settings. FAME sets the new state of the art for POS tagging in 27 languages, various NER settings and question classification in different domains.
In low-resource settings, model transfer can help to overcome a lack of labeled data for many tasks and domains. However, predicting useful transfer sources is a challenging problem, as even the most similar sources might lead to unexpected negative transfer results. Thus, ranking methods based on task and text similarity — as suggested in prior work — may not be sufficient to identify promising sources. To tackle this problem, we propose a new approach to automatically determine which and how many sources should be exploited. For this, we study the effects of model transfer on sequence labeling across various domains and tasks and show that our methods based on model similarity and support vector machines are able to predict promising sources, resulting in performance increases of up to 24 F1 points.
Deep neural networks and huge language models are becoming omnipresent in natural language applications. As they are known for requiring large amounts of training data, there is a growing body of work to improve the performance in low-resource settings. Motivated by the recent fundamental changes towards neural models and the popular pre-train and fine-tune paradigm, we survey promising approaches for low-resource natural language processing. After a discussion about the different dimensions of data availability, we give a structured overview of methods that enable learning when training data is sparse. This includes mechanisms to create additional labeled data like data augmentation and distant supervision as well as transfer learning settings that reduce the need for target supervision. A goal of our survey is to explain how these methods differ in their requirements as understanding them is essential for choosing a technique suited for a specific low-resource setting. Further key aspects of this work are to highlight open issues and to outline promising directions for future research.
Recent work showed that embeddings from related languages can improve the performance of sequence tagging, even for monolingual models. In this analysis paper, we investigate whether the best auxiliary language can be predicted based on language distances and show that the most related language is not always the best auxiliary language. Further, we show that attention-based meta-embeddings can effectively combine pre-trained embeddings from different languages for sequence tagging and set new state-of-the-art results for part-of-speech tagging in five languages.
Although temporal tagging is still dominated by rule-based systems, there have been recent attempts at neural temporal taggers. However, all of them focus on monolingual settings. In this paper, we explore multilingual methods for the extraction of temporal expressions from text and investigate adversarial training for aligning embedding spaces to one common space. With this, we create a single multilingual model that can also be transferred to unseen languages and set the new state of the art in those cross-lingual transfer experiments.
Exploiting natural language processing in the clinical domain requires de-identification, i.e., anonymization of personal information in texts. However, current research considers de-identification and downstream tasks, such as concept extraction, only in isolation and does not study the effects of de-identification on other tasks. In this paper, we close this gap by reporting concept extraction performance on automatically anonymized data and investigating joint models for de-identification and concept extraction. In particular, we propose a stacked model with restricted access to privacy sensitive information and a multitask model. We set the new state of the art on benchmark datasets in English (96.1% F1 for de-identification and 88.9% F1 for concept extraction) and Spanish (91.4% F1 for concept extraction).
Attributing a particular property to a person by naming another person, who is typically wellknown for the respective property, is called a Vossian Antonomasia (VA). This subtpye of metonymy, which overlaps with metaphor, has a specific syntax and is especially frequent in journalistic texts. While identifying Vossian Antonomasia is of particular interest in the study of stylistics, it is also a source of errors in relation and fact extraction as an explicitly mentioned entity occurs only metaphorically and should not be associated with respective contexts. Despite rather simple syntactic variations, the automatic extraction of VA was never addressed as yet since it requires a deeper semantic understanding of mentioned entities and underlying relations. In this paper, we propose a first method for the extraction of VAs that works completely automatically. Our approaches use named entity recognition, distant supervision based on Wikidata, and a bi-directional LSTM for postprocessing. The evaluation on 1.8 million articles of the New York Times corpus shows that our approach significantly outperforms the only existing semi-automatic approach for VA identification by more than 30 percentage points in precision.
Named entity recognition has been extensively studied on English news texts. However, the transfer to other domains and languages is still a challenging problem. In this paper, we describe the system with which we participated in the first subtrack of the PharmaCoNER competition of the BioNLP Open Shared Tasks 2019. Aiming at pharmacological entity detection in Spanish texts, the task provides a non-standard domain and language setting. However, we propose an architecture that requires neither language nor domain expertise. We treat the task as a sequence labeling task and experiment with attention-based embedding selection and the training on automatically annotated data to further improve our system’s performance. Our system achieves promising results, especially by combining the different techniques, and reaches up to 88.6% F1 in the competition.
Named Entity Disambiguation (NED) systems perform well on news articles and other texts covering a specific time interval. However, NED quality drops when inputs span long time periods like in archives or historic corpora. This paper presents the first time-aware method for NED that resolves ambiguities even when mention contexts give only few cues. The method is based on computing temporal signatures for entities and comparing these to the temporal contexts of input mentions. Our experiments show superior quality on a newly created diachronic corpus.
GATE is a widely used open-source solution for text processing with a large user community. It contains components for several natural language processing tasks. However, temporal information extraction functionality within GATE has been rather limited so far, despite being a prerequisite for many application scenarios in the areas of natural language processing and information retrieval. This paper presents an integrated approach to temporal information processing. We take state-of-the-art tools in temporal expression and event recognition and bring them together to form an openly-available resource within the GATE infrastructure. GATE-Time provides annotation in the form of TimeML events and temporal expressions complying with this mature ISO standard for temporal semantic annotation of documents. Major advantages of GATE-Time are (i) that it relies on HeidelTime for temporal tagging, so that temporal expressions can be extracted and normalized in multiple languages and across different domains, (ii) it includes a modern, fast event recognition and classification tool, and (iii) that it can be combined with different linguistic pre-processing annotations, and is thus not bound to license restricted preprocessing components.
Computational Narratology is an emerging field within the Digital Humanities. In this paper, we tackle the problem of extracting temporal information as a basis for event extraction and ordering, as well as further investigations of complex phenomena in narrative texts. While most existing systems focus on news texts and extract explicit temporal information exclusively, we show that this approach is not feasible for narratives. Based on tense information of verbs, we define temporal clusters as an annotation task and validate the annotation schema by showing that the task can be performed with high inter-annotator agreement. To alleviate and reduce the manual annotation effort, we propose a rule-based approach to robustly extract temporal clusters using a multi-layered and dynamic NLP pipeline that combines off-the-shelf components in a heuristic setting. Comparing our results against human judgements, our system is capable of predicting the tense of verbs and sentences with very high reliability: for the most prevalent tense in our corpus, more than 95% of all verbs are annotated correctly.
Research on temporal tagging has achieved a lot of attention during the last years. However, most of the work focuses on processing news-style documents. Thus, references to historic dates are often not well handled by temporal taggers although they frequently occur in narrative-style documents about history, e.g., in many Wikipedia articles. In this paper, we present the AncientTimes corpus containing documents about different historic time periods in eight languages, in which we manually annotated temporal expressions. Based on this corpus, we explain the challenges of temporal tagging documents about history. Furthermore, we use the corpus to extend our multilingual, cross-domain temporal tagger HeidelTime to extract and normalize temporal expressions referring to historic dates, and to demonstrate HeidelTime’s new capabilities. Both, the AncientTimes corpus as well as the new HeidelTime version are made publicly available.
In the last years, temporal tagging has received increasing attention in the area of natural language processing. However, most of the research so far concentrated on processing news documents. Only recently, two temporal annotated corpora of narrative-style documents were developed, and it was shown that a domain shift results in significant challenges for temporal tagging. Thus, a temporal tagger should be aware of the domain associated with documents that are to be processed and apply domain-specific strategies for extracting and normalizing temporal expressions. In this paper, we analyze the characteristics of temporal expressions in different domains. In addition to news- and narrative-style documents, we add two further document types, namely colloquial and scientific documents. After discussing the challenges of temporal tagging on the different domains, we describe some strategies to tackle these challenges and describe their integration into our publicly available temporal tagger HeidelTime. Our cross-domain evaluation validates the benefits of domain-sensitive temporal tagging. Furthermore, we make available two new temporally annotated corpora and a new version of HeidelTime, which now distinguishes between four document domain types.