William Gantt


2023

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Iterative Document-level Information Extraction via Imitation Learning
Yunmo Chen | William Gantt | Weiwei Gu | Tongfei Chen | Aaron White | Benjamin Van Durme
Proceedings of the 17th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics

We present a novel iterative extraction model, IterX, for extracting complex relations, or templates, i.e., N-tuples representing a mapping from named slots to spans of text within a document. Documents may feature zero or more instances of a template of any given type, and the task of template extraction entails identifying the templates in a document and extracting each template’s slot values. Our imitation learning approach casts the problem as a Markov decision process (MDP), and relieves the need to use predefined template orders to train an extractor. It leads to state-of-the-art results on two established benchmarks – 4-ary relation extraction on SciREX and template extraction on MUC-4 – as well as a strong baseline on the new BETTER Granular task.

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On Event Individuation for Document-Level Information Extraction
William Gantt | Reno Kriz | Yunmo Chen | Siddharth Vashishtha | Aaron White
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

As information extraction (IE) systems have grown more adept at processing whole documents, the classic task of *template filling* has seen renewed interest as a benchmark for document-level IE. In this position paper, we call into question the suitability of template filling for this purpose. We argue that the task demands definitive answers to thorny questions of *event individuation* — the problem of distinguishing distinct events — about which even human experts disagree. Through an annotation study and error analysis, we show that this raises concerns about the usefulness of template filling metrics, the quality of datasets for the task, and the ability of models to learn it. Finally, we consider possible solutions.

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A Unified View of Evaluation Metrics for Structured Prediction
Yunmo Chen | William Gantt | Tongfei Chen | Aaron White | Benjamin Van Durme
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

We present a conceptual framework that unifies a variety of evaluation metrics for different structured prediction tasks (e.g. event and relation extraction, syntactic and semantic parsing). Our framework requires representing the outputs of these tasks as objects of certain data types, and derives metrics through matching of common substructures, possibly followed by normalization. We demonstrate how commonly used metrics for a number of tasks can be succinctly expressed by this framework, and show that new metrics can be naturally derived in a bottom-up way based on an output structure. We release a library that enables this derivation to create new metrics. Finally, we consider how specific characteristics of tasks motivate metric design decisions, and suggest possible modifications to existing metrics in line with those motivations.

2022

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Decomposing and Recomposing Event Structure
William Gantt | Lelia Glass | Aaron Steven White
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 10

We present an event structure classification empirically derived from inferential properties annotated on sentence- and document-level Universal Decompositional Semantics (UDS) graphs. We induce this classification jointly with semantic role, entity, and event-event relation classifications using a document-level generative model structured by these graphs. To support this induction, we augment existing annotations found in the UDS1.0 dataset, which covers the entirety of the English Web Treebank, with an array of inferential properties capturing fine-grained aspects of the temporal and aspectual structure of events. The resulting dataset (available at decomp.io) is the largest annotation of event structure and (partial) event coreference to date.

2020

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Natural Language Inference with Mixed Effects
William Gantt | Benjamin Kane | Aaron Steven White
Proceedings of the Ninth Joint Conference on Lexical and Computational Semantics

There is growing evidence that the prevalence of disagreement in the raw annotations used to construct natural language inference datasets makes the common practice of aggregating those annotations to a single label problematic. We propose a generic method that allows one to skip the aggregation step and train on the raw annotations directly without subjecting the model to unwanted noise that can arise from annotator response biases. We demonstrate that this method, which generalizes the notion of a mixed effects model by incorporating annotator random effects into any existing neural model, improves performance over models that do not incorporate such effects.