Recent years have witnessed the improving performance of Chinese Named Entity Recognition (NER) from proposing new frameworks or incorporating word lexicons. However, the inner composition of entity mentions in character-level Chinese NER has been rarely studied. Actually, most mentions of regular types have strong name regularity. For example, entities end with indicator words such as “公司 (company) ” or “银行 (bank)” usually belong to organization. In this paper, we propose a simple but effective method for investigating the regularity of entity spans in Chinese NER, dubbed as Regularity-Inspired reCOgnition Network (RICON). Specifically, the proposed model consists of two branches: a regularity-aware module and a regularity-agnostic module. The regularity-aware module captures the internal regularity of each span for better entity type prediction, while the regularity-agnostic module is employed to locate the boundary of entities and relieve the excessive attention to span regularity. An orthogonality space is further constructed to encourage two modules to extract different aspects of regularity features. To verify the effectiveness of our method, we conduct extensive experiments on three benchmark datasets and a practical medical dataset. The experimental results show that our RICON significantly outperforms previous state-of-the-art methods, including various lexicon-based methods.
We introduce the task of historical text summarisation, where documents in historical forms of a language are summarised in the corresponding modern language. This is a fundamentally important routine to historians and digital humanities researchers but has never been automated. We compile a high-quality gold-standard text summarisation dataset, which consists of historical German and Chinese news from hundreds of years ago summarised in modern German or Chinese. Based on cross-lingual transfer learning techniques, we propose a summarisation model that can be trained even with no cross-lingual (historical to modern) parallel data, and further benchmark it against state-of-the-art algorithms. We report automatic and human evaluations that distinguish the historic to modern language summarisation task from standard cross-lingual summarisation (i.e., modern to modern language), highlight the distinctness and value of our dataset, and demonstrate that our transfer learning approach outperforms standard cross-lingual benchmarks on this task.