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A Machine Learning Approach to Coreference Resolution of Noun Phrases By W.M.Soon, H.T.Ng, D.C.Y.Lim Presented by Iman Sen.

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Presentation on theme: "A Machine Learning Approach to Coreference Resolution of Noun Phrases By W.M.Soon, H.T.Ng, D.C.Y.Lim Presented by Iman Sen."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Machine Learning Approach to Coreference Resolution of Noun Phrases By W.M.Soon, H.T.Ng, D.C.Y.Lim Presented by Iman Sen

2 Outline Introduction Process Overview Pipeline Process to find Markables Feature Selection The Decision Tree Results for MUC-6, MUC-7 & error analysis Conclusions

3 Introduction  Coreference for general noun phrases from unrestricted text.  Learns using the decision tree method from a small annotated corpus.  First learning based system that performed comparably with the best non-learning systems.

4 Process Overview Markables are the union of all the noun phrases, named entities and nested noun phrases found. Find markables using a pipeline of NLP modules Form feature vectors for appropriate pairs of markables. These are the training examples. Train the decision tree classifier on these examples. For testing, determine pairs of markables in test document and present to the classifier. Stop after first successful coreference.

5 Tokenization & Sentence Segmentation Morphological Processing Free Text POS tagger NP Identification Named Entity Recognition Nested Noun Phrase Extraction Semantic Class Determination Markables Pipelined NLP modules Standard HMM based tagger HMM Based, uses POS tags from previous module HMM based, recognizes organization, person, location, date, time, money, percent 2 kinds: prenominals such as ((wage) reduction) and possessive NPs such as ((his) dog). More on this in a bit!

6 Determining the Markables for training Sentence 1 1. (Eastern Airlines) a2 executives notified (union) el leaders that the carrier wishes to discuss selective ( (wage) c2 reductions) d2 on (Feb. 3) b2. 2. ((Eastern Airlines) 5 executives) 6 notified ( (union) 7 leaders) 8 that (the carrier) 9 wishes to discuss (selective (wage) 10 reductions) 11 on (Feb. 3) 12. Sentence 2 1. ( (Union) e2 representatives who could be reached) f1 said (they) f2 hadn't decided whether (they) f3 would respond. 2. ( (Union) 13 representatives) 14 who could be reached said (they) 15 hadn't decided whether (they) 16 would respond. The first version of each sentence is the manual coreference annotation, the second is the result of the pipeline modules. The letters in the 1 st sentence denote coreference chains We make up pairs (i, j) as training examples We take only those NPs in a coreference chain where the NP boundaries match (shown in blue).

7 Determining the markables for training continued… +ve examples-ve examples ((union) 7, (union) 13 )((the carrier) 9,(union) 13 ) ((wage) 10,(union) 13 ) ((selective wage reductions) 11,(union) 13 ) ((Feb 13) 12, (union) 13 ) In general, if a1, a2, a3 is a coreference chain correctly identified, then make up (a1,a2), (a2,a3) as +ve examples, and for all NPs found in between, say, a2 & a3, called e, make up –ve examples (e, a3). Then a feature vector is generated for each pair

8 Markables for testing For testing, every antecedent i, before j, is tried. Start with the immediate preceding i, and go backwards. Stop when you find the first +ve coreference. For nested NPs, we avoid the current markable. For example, in ((his) daughter), we do not try to see if “his” corefers to “his daughter”.

9 Feature Selection The authors selected the following 12 features: 1)Distance Feature (DIST): If (i,j) are in the same sentence then equal to 0, if one sentence apart, then equal to 1 and so on. 2)i-Pronoun Feature (I_PRONOUN): Values are true or false. Return true if i in (i, j) is a pronoun. 3)j-Pronoun Feature (J_PRONOUN): Tests if j is a pronoun in (i,j). 4)String Match Feature (STR_MATCH): Returns true or false. Removes articles and demonstrative pronouns (such as “that”, “those”, etc) and tests for a match. 5)Definite NP Feature (DEF_NP): If j starts with “the” return true, else false. 6)Demonstrative Noun Phrase Feature (DEM_NP): If j starts with “this, that, these, those” then return true, else false. 7)Number Agreement Feature (NUMBER): Morphological root is used to determine if noun is singular or plural (if not a pronoun), returns true or false.

10 Feature Selection continued… 8) Semantic Class Agreement Feature (SEMCLASS): returns true, false or unknown. Classes are “male, female, person, organization, location, date, time, money, percent, object”. Decided by the semantic module (pick 1 st sense from WordNet), and is true if same or child of the other. For ex, male, female are persons, the others are objects. If either is unknown, compare head nouns, and if same, return true. 9) Gender Agreement Feature (GENDER): derive from “Mr.,Mrs.” or “he, she”. If names not referred to with one of above, then look up database of common names. Gender of objects is “neutral”. Unknown classes will have “unknown” gender. Return true is gender matches. 10) Both Proper Names Feature (PROPER_NAME): Look at capitalization and return true or false. 11) Alias Feature (ALIAS): return true for aliases. For “persons”, last names are compared. For “dates”, day, month, year is extracted. For “organizations”, acronyms are checked. 12) Appositive Feature (APPOSITIVE): if j is in apposition to i, return true. Check for (absence of) verbs and proper punctuation (like “,”).

11 A Training Example For each markable pair, a feature vector is derived and this constitutes a training example. Sentence: Separately, Clinton transition officials said that Frank Newman, 50, vice chairman and chief financial officer of BankAmerica Corp., is expected to be nominated as assistant Treasury secretary for domestic finance. Feature vector of the markable pair (i = Frank Newman, j = vice chairman). DIST 0 i and j are in the same sentence I_PRONOUN - i is not a pronoun J_PRONOUN - j is not a pronoun STR_MATCH - i and j do not match DEF_NP - j is not a definite noun phrase DEM_NP - j is not a demonstrative noun phrase NUMBER + i and j are both singular SEMCLASS 1 i and j are both persons (unknown is 2) GENDER 1 i and j are both males PROPER_NAME - Only i is a proper name ALIAS - j is not an alias of i APPOSITIVE + j is in apposition to i

12 The Decision Tree The decision tree learning algorithm used is C5, an updated version of C4.5(Quinlan 1993). Basic idea is to pick a feature, split the training set into subsets based on the different values of the feature. If subset consists of instances from the same class (after pruning), stop, else split on a different feature. The feature with the greatest information gain is picked as the next feature to split on. Information gain is measured in terms of entropy, and in this case the feature that will yield the lowest possible entropy is selected.

13 Example: “(Ms.Washington)’s candidacy is being championed by (several powerful lawmakers) including ((her) boss).” Feature set: DIST SEMCLASS NO. GENDER PROPER_NAME ALIAS J_PRON DEF_NP DEM_NP STR_MATCH APPOSITIVE I_PRON (0 1 + 1 - - + - - - - - ) Does (Ms. Washington, her) corefer? The Decision Tree STR_MATCH + J_PRONOUN + - + - APPOSITIVE + - + ALIAS + - + - GENDER 0 - 2 - 1 I_PRONOUN + - DIST <=0 >0 - NUMBER + - + - Note: Only 8 out of 12 features are used in the final tree

14 Results  MUC-6: Recall 58.6%, Precision 67.3%, F-Measure: 62.6%. Pruning set at 20%, min. no. of instances set at 5  MUC-7: Recall 56.1%, Precision 65.5%, F-Measure: 60.4%.Pruning set at 60%, min. no. of instances set at 2.  Results about 3 rd or 4 th amongst the best MUC-6 and MUC-7 systems  Errors inherited from the pipeline NLP modules: POS tagger (96%), Named Entity Recognizer ( only 88.9%), and NP identification (about 90%). Overall, in one test of 100 MUC annotated documents, achieved about 85% accuracy.

15 Error Analysis (on 5 random documents from MUC-6) The types and frequencies of errors that affect precision. Types of Errors Causing Spurious Links Frequency % Prenominal modifier string match 16 42.1% Strings match but noun phrases refer to 11 28.9% different entities Errors in noun phrase identification 4 10.5% Errors in apposition determination 5 13.2% Errors in alias determination 2 5.3% The types and frequencies of errors that affect recall. Types of Errors Causing Missing Links Frequency % Inadequacy of current surface features 38 63.3% Errors in noun phrase identification 7 11.7% Errors in semantic class determination 7 11.7% Errors in part-of-speech assignment 5 8.3% Errors in apposition determination 2 3.3% Errors in tokenization 1 1.7%

16 Conclusions Very good results (comparatively) for a relatively simple set of features. The 3 most important features were STR_MATCH, APPOSITIVE & ALIAS (discovered by training & testing with just these features). In fact, these 3 features account for 60.3%, 59.4% of the F-measure for MUC-6, MUC-7 respectively. Which means the other 9 features contribute only 2.3%(for MUC-6) and 1% for MUC-7. Some reasons why it performed better than the only comparable system in MUC(RESOLVE from UMass) are:  Higher recall using the larger no. of semantic classes.  The 3 crucial features (RESOLVE did not have the APPOSITIVE feature).  Stopping at the first +ve coreference.

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