Leveraging distant supervision for improved named entity recognition

TitleLeveraging distant supervision for improved named entity recognition
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsGhaddar, A.
Academic DepartmentDIRO
Number of Pages147
KeywordsDistant Supervision, Generalization, NER, Wikipedia, Word Representation
AbstractRecent years have seen a leap in deep learning techniques that greatly changed the way Natural Language Processing (NLP) tasks are tackled. In a couple of years, neural networks and word embeddings quickly became central components to be adopted in the domain. Distant supervision (DS) is a well-used technique in NLP to produce labeled data from partially annotated examples. Traditionally, it was mainly used as training data in the absence of manual annotations, or as additional training data to improve generalization performances. In this thesis, we study how distant supervision can be employed within a modern deep learning based NLP framework. As deep learning algorithms gets better when massive amount of data is provided (especially for representation learning), we revisit the task of generating distant supervision data from Wikipedia. We apply post-processing treatments on the original dump to further increase the quantity of labeled examples, while introducing a reasonable amount of noise. Then, we explore different methods for using distant supervision data for representation learning, mainly to learn classic and contextualized word representations. Due to its importance as a basic component in many NLP applications, we choose Named-Entity Recognition (NER) as our main task. We experiment on standard NER benchmarks showing state-of-the-art performances. By doing so, we investigate a more interesting setting, that is, improving the cross-domain (generalization) performances.