Laurel Orr


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Goodwill Hunting: Analyzing and Repurposing Off-the-Shelf Named Entity Linking Systems
Karan Goel | Laurel Orr | Nazneen Fatema Rajani | Jesse Vig | Christopher Ré
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies: Industry Papers

Named entity linking (NEL) or mapping “strings” to “things” in a knowledge base is a fundamental preprocessing step in systems that require knowledge of entities such as information extraction and question answering. In this work, we lay out and investigate two challenges faced by individuals or organizations building NEL systems. Can they directly use an off-the-shelf system? If not, how easily can such a system be repurposed for their use case? First, we conduct a study of off-the-shelf commercial and academic NEL systems. We find that most systems struggle to link rare entities, with commercial solutions lagging their academic counterparts by 10%+. Second, for a use case where the NEL model is used in a sports question-answering (QA) system, we investigate how to close the loop in our analysis by repurposing the best off-the-shelf model (Bootleg) to correct sport-related errors. We show how tailoring a simple technique for patching models using weak labeling can provide a 25% absolute improvement in accuracy of sport-related errors.

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Cross-Domain Data Integration for Named Entity Disambiguation in Biomedical Text
Maya Varma | Laurel Orr | Sen Wu | Megan Leszczynski | Xiao Ling | Christopher Ré
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Named entity disambiguation (NED), which involves mapping textual mentions to structured entities, is particularly challenging in the medical domain due to the presence of rare entities. Existing approaches are limited by the presence of coarse-grained structural resources in biomedical knowledge bases as well as the use of training datasets that provide low coverage over uncommon resources. In this work, we address these issues by proposing a cross-domain data integration method that transfers structural knowledge from a general text knowledge base to the medical domain. We utilize our integration scheme to augment structural resources and generate a large biomedical NED dataset for pretraining. Our pretrained model with injected structural knowledge achieves state-of-the-art performance on two benchmark medical NED datasets: MedMentions and BC5CDR. Furthermore, we improve disambiguation of rare entities by up to 57 accuracy points.