Xiang Zhao


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T 2 -NER: A Two-Stage Span-Based Framework for Unified Named Entity Recognition with Templates
Peixin Huang | Xiang Zhao | Minghao Hu | Zhen Tan | Weidong Xiao
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 11

Named Entity Recognition (NER) has so far evolved from the traditional flat NER to overlapped and discontinuous NER. They have mostly been solved separately, with only several exceptions that concurrently tackle three tasks with a single model. The current best-performing method formalizes the unified NER as word-word relation classification, which barely focuses on mention content learning and fails to detect entity mentions comprising a single word. In this paper, we propose a two-stage span-based framework with templates, namely, T2-NER, to resolve the unified NER task. The first stage is to extract entity spans, where flat and overlapped entities can be recognized. The second stage is to classify over all entity span pairs, where discontinuous entities can be recognized. Finally, multi-task learning is used to jointly train two stages. To improve the efficiency of span-based model, we design grouped templates and typed templates for two stages to realize batch computations. We also apply an adjacent packing strategy and a latter packing strategy to model discriminative boundary information and learn better span (pair) representation. Moreover, we introduce the syntax information to enhance our span representation. We perform extensive experiments on eight benchmark datasets for flat, overlapped, and discontinuous NER, where our model beats all the current competitive baselines, obtaining the best performance of unified NER.

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Multi-granularity Temporal Question Answering over Knowledge Graphs
Ziyang Chen | Jinzhi Liao | Xiang Zhao
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Recently, question answering over temporal knowledge graphs (i.e., TKGQA) has been introduced and investigated, in quest of reasoning about dynamic factual knowledge. To foster research on TKGQA, a few datasets have been curated (e.g., CronQuestions and Complex-CronQuestions), and various models have been proposed based on these datasets. Nevertheless, existing efforts overlook the fact that real-life applications of TKGQA also tend to be complex in temporal granularity, i.e., the questions may concern mixed temporal granularities (e.g., both day and month). To overcome the limitation, in this paper, we motivate the notion of multi-granularity temporal question answering over knowledge graphs and present a large scale dataset for multi-granularity TKGQA, namely MultiTQ. To the best of our knowledge, MultiTQis among the first of its kind, and compared with existing datasets on TKGQA, MultiTQfeatures at least two desirable aspects—ample relevant facts and multiple temporal granularities. It is expected to better reflect real-world challenges, and serve as a test bed for TKGQA models. In addition, we propose a competing baseline MultiQA over MultiTQ, which is experimentally demonstrated to be effective in dealing with TKGQA. The data and code are released at https://github.com/czy1999/MultiTQ.


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Extract-Select: A Span Selection Framework for Nested Named Entity Recognition with Generative Adversarial Training
Peixin Huang | Xiang Zhao | Minghao Hu | Yang Fang | Xinyi Li | Weidong Xiao
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Nested named entity recognition (NER) is a task in which named entities may overlap with each other. Span-based approaches regard nested NER as a two-stage span enumeration and classification task, thus having the innate ability to handle this task. However, they face the problems of error propagation, ignorance of span boundary, difficulty in long entity recognition and requirement on large-scale annotated data. In this paper, we propose Extract-Select, a span selection framework for nested NER, to tackle these problems. Firstly, we introduce a span selection framework in which nested entities with different input categories would be separately extracted by the extractor, thus naturally avoiding error propagation in two-stage span-based approaches. In the inference phase, the trained extractor selects final results specific to the given entity category. Secondly, we propose a hybrid selection strategy in the extractor, which not only makes full use of span boundary but also improves the ability of long entity recognition. Thirdly, we design a discriminator to evaluate the extraction result, and train both extractor and discriminator with generative adversarial training (GAT). The use of GAT greatly alleviates the stress on the dataset size. Experimental results on four benchmark datasets demonstrate that Extract-Select outperforms competitive nested NER models, obtaining state-of-the-art results. The proposed model also performs well when less labeled data are given, proving the effectiveness of GAT.


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Relation-aware Bidirectional Path Reasoning for Commonsense Question Answering
Junxing Wang | Xinyi Li | Zhen Tan | Xiang Zhao | Weidong Xiao
Proceedings of the 25th Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning

Commonsense Question Answering is an important natural language processing (NLP) task that aims to predict the correct answer to a question through commonsense reasoning. Previous studies utilize pre-trained models on large-scale corpora such as BERT, or perform reasoning on knowledge graphs. However, these methods do not explicitly model the relations that connect entities, which are informational and can be used to enhance reasoning. To address this issue, we propose a relation-aware reasoning method. Our method uses a relation-aware graph neural network to capture the rich contextual information from both entities and relations. Compared with methods that use fixed relation embeddings from pre-trained models, our model dynamically updates relations with contextual information from a multi-source subgraph, built from multiple external knowledge sources. The enhanced representations of relations are then fed to a bidirectional reasoning module. A bidirectional attention mechanism is applied between the question sequence and the paths that connect entities, which provides us with transparent interpretability. Experimental results on the CommonsenseQA dataset illustrate that our method results in significant improvements over the baselines while also providing clear reasoning paths.


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CLEEK: A Chinese Long-text Corpus for Entity Linking
Weixin Zeng | Xiang Zhao | Jiuyang Tang | Zhen Tan | Xuqian Huang
Proceedings of the Twelfth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Entity linking, as one of the fundamental tasks in natural language processing, is crucial to knowledge fusion, knowledge base construction and update. Nevertheless, in contrast to the research on entity linking for English text, which undergoes continuous development, the Chinese counterpart is still in its infancy. One prominent issue lies in publicly available annotated datasets and evaluation benchmarks, which are lacking and deficient. In specific, existing Chinese corpora for entity linking were mainly constructed from noisy short texts, such as microblogs and news headings, where long texts were largely overlooked, which yet constitute a wider spectrum of real-life scenarios. To address the issue, in this work, we build CLEEK, a Chinese corpus of multi-domain long text for entity linking, in order to encourage advancement of entity linking in languages besides English. The corpus consists of 100 documents from diverse domains, and is publicly accessible. Moreover, we devise a measure to evaluate the difficulty of documents with respect to entity linking, which is then used to characterize the corpus. Additionally, the results of two baselines and seven state-of-the-art solutions on CLEEK are reported and compared. The empirical results validate the usefulness of CLEEK and the effectiveness of proposed difficulty measure.

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Joint Event Extraction with Hierarchical Policy Network
Peixin Huang | Xiang Zhao | Ryuichi Takanobu | Zhen Tan | Weidong Xiao
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Most existing work on event extraction (EE) either follows a pipelined manner or uses a joint structure but is pipelined in essence. As a result, these efforts fail to utilize information interactions among event triggers, event arguments, and argument roles, which causes information redundancy. In view of this, we propose to exploit the role information of the arguments in an event and devise a Hierarchical Policy Network (HPNet) to perform joint EE. The whole EE process is fulfilled through a two-level hierarchical structure consisting of two policy networks for event detection and argument detection. The deep information interactions among the subtasks are realized, and it is more natural to deal with multiple events issue. Extensive experiments on ACE2005 and TAC2015 demonstrate the superiority of HPNet, leading to state-of-the-art performance and is more powerful for sentences with multiple events.