Learning representations of entity mentions is a core component of modern entity linking systems for both candidate generation and making linking predictions. In this paper, we present and empirically analyze a novel training approach for learning mention and entity representations that is based on building minimum spanning arborescences (i.e., directed spanning trees) over mentions and entities across documents to explicitly model mention coreference relationships. We demonstrate the efficacy of our approach by showing significant improvements in both candidate generation recall and linking accuracy on the Zero-Shot Entity Linking dataset and MedMentions, the largest publicly available biomedical dataset. In addition, we show that our improvements in candidate generation yield higher quality re-ranking models downstream, setting a new SOTA result in linking accuracy on MedMentions. Finally, we demonstrate that our improved mention representations are also effective for the discovery of new entities via cross-document coreference.
Efficient k-nearest neighbor search is a fundamental task, foundational for many problems in NLP. When the similarity is measured by dot-product between dual-encoder vectors or L2-distance, there already exist many scalable and efficient search methods. But not so when similarity is measured by more accurate and expensive black-box neural similarity models, such as cross-encoders, which jointly encode the query and candidate neighbor. The cross-encoders’ high computational cost typically limits their use to reranking candidates retrieved by a cheaper model, such as dual encoder or TF-IDF. However, the accuracy of such a two-stage approach is upper-bounded by the recall of the initial candidate set, and potentially requires additional training to align the auxiliary retrieval model with the cross-encoder model. In this paper, we present an approach that avoids the use of a dual-encoder for retrieval, relying solely on the cross-encoder. Retrieval is made efficient with CUR decomposition, a matrix decomposition approach that approximates all pairwise cross-encoder distances from a small subset of rows and columns of the distance matrix. Indexing items using our approach is computationally cheaper than training an auxiliary dual-encoder model through distillation. Empirically, for k > 10, our approach provides test-time recall-vs-computational cost trade-offs superior to the current widely-used methods that re-rank items retrieved using a dual-encoder or TF-IDF.
Coreference decisions among event mentions and among co-occurring entity mentions are highly interdependent, thus motivating joint inference. Capturing the uncertainty over each variable can be crucial for inference among multiple dependent variables. Previous work on joint coreference employs heuristic approaches, lacking well-defined objectives, and lacking modeling of uncertainty on each side of the joint problem. We present a new approach of joint coreference, including (1) a formal cost function inspired by Dasgupta’s cost for hierarchical clustering, and (2) a representation for uncertainty of clustering of event and entity mentions, again based on a hierarchical structure. We describe an alternating optimization method for inference that when clustering event mentions, considers the uncertainty of the clustering of entity mentions and vice-versa. We show that our proposed joint model provides empirical advantages over state-of-the-art independent and joint models.
Due to large number of entities in biomedical knowledge bases, only a small fraction of entities have corresponding labelled training data. This necessitates entity linking models which are able to link mentions of unseen entities using learned representations of entities. Previous approaches link each mention independently, ignoring the relationships within and across documents between the entity mentions. These relations can be very useful for linking mentions in biomedical text where linking decisions are often difficult due mentions having a generic or a highly specialized form. In this paper, we introduce a model in which linking decisions can be made not merely by linking to a knowledge base entity but also by grouping multiple mentions together via clustering and jointly making linking predictions. In experiments on the largest publicly available biomedical dataset, we improve the best independent prediction for entity linking by 3.0 points of accuracy, and our clustering-based inference model further improves entity linking by 2.3 points.