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Reference Resolution Approaches

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  1. Reference Resolution Approaches • Common features • “Discourse Model” • Referents evoked in discourse, available for reference • Structure indicating relative salience • Syntactic & Semantic Constraints • Syntactic & Semantic Preferences • Differences: • Which constraints/preferences? How combine? Rank?

  2. Reference Resolution CMSC 35900-1 Discourse and Dialogue September 29, 2006

  3. Agenda • Reference resolution • Knowledge-rich, deep analysis approaches • Centering • Knowledge-based, shallow analysis: CogNIAC (‘95) • Learning approaches: Fully, Weakly, and Un- Supervised • Cardie&Ng ’99-’04

  4. Centering • Identify the local “center” of attention • Pronominalization focuses attention, appropriate use establishes coherence • Identify entities available for reference • Describe shifts in what discourse is about • Prefer different types for coherence

  5. Centering: Structures • Each utterance (Un) has: • List of forward-looking centers: Cf(Un) • Entities realized/evoked in Un • Rank by likelihood of focus of future discourse • Highest ranked element: Cp(Un) • Backward looking center (focus): Cb(Un)


  6. Centering: Transitions

  7. Centering: Constraints and Rules • Constraints: • Exactly ONE backward -looking center • Everything in Cf(Un) realized in Un • Cb(Un): highest ranked item in Cf(Un) in Un-1 • Rules: • If any item in Cf(Un-1) realized as pronoun in Un, Cb(Un) must be realized as pronoun • Transitions are ranked: • Continuing > Retaining > Smooth Shift > Rough Shift

  8. Centering: Example • John saw a beautiful Acura Integra at the dealership • Cf: (John, Integra, dealership); No Cb • He showed it to Bill. • Cf:(John/he, Integra/it*, Bill); Cb: John/he • He bought it: • Cf: (John/he, Integra/it); Cb: John/he

  9. Reference Resolution: Differences • Different structures to capture focus • Different assumptions about: • # of foci, ambiguity of reference • Different combinations of features

  10. Reference Resolution: Agreements • Knowledge-based • Deep analysis: full parsing, semantic analysis • Enforce syntactic/semantic constraints • Preferences: • Recency • Grammatical Role Parallelism (ex. Hobbs) • Role ranking • Frequency of mention • Local reference resolution • Little/No world knowledge • Similar levels of effectiveness

  11. Alternative Strategies • Knowledge-based, but • Shallow processing, simple rules! • CogNIAC (Baldwin ’95) • Data-driven • Fully or weakly supervised learning • Cardie & Ng ( ’02-’04)

  12. CogNIAC • Goal: Resolve with high precision • Identify where ambiguous, use no world knowledge, simple syntactic analysis • Precision: # correct labelings/# of labelings • Recall: # correct labelings/# of anaphors • Uses simple set of ranked rules • Applied incrementally left-to-right • Designed to work on newspaper articles • Tune/rank rules

  13. CogNIAC: Rules • Only resolve reference if unique antecedent • 1) Unique in prior discourse • 2) Reflexive: nearest legal in same sentence • 3) Unique in current & prior: • 4) Possessive Pro: single exact poss in prior • 5) Unique in current • 6) Unique subj/subj pronoun

  14. CogNIAC: Example • John saw a beautiful Acura Integra in the dealership. • He showed it to Bill. • He= John : Rule 1; it -> ambiguous (Integra) • He bought it. • He=John: Rule 6; it=Integra: Rule 3

  15. Data-driven Reference Resolution • Prior approaches • Knowledge-based, hand-crafted • Data-driven machine learning approach • Cast coreference as classification problem • For each pair NPi,NPj, do they corefer? • Cluster to form equivalence classes

  16. NP Coreference Examples • Link all NPs refer to same entity Queen Elizabeth set about transforming herhusband, King George VI, into a viable monarch. Logue, a renowned speech therapist, was summoned to help the King overcome hisspeech impediment... Example from Cardie&Ng 2004

  17. Training Instances • 25 features per instance: 2NPs, features, class • lexical (3) • string matching for pronouns, proper names, common nouns • grammatical (18) • pronoun_1, pronoun_2, demonstrative_2, indefinite_2, … • number, gender, animacy • appositive, predicate nominative • binding constraints, simple contra-indexing constraints, … • span, maximalnp, … • semantic (2) • same WordNet class • alias • positional (1) • distance between the NPs in terms of # of sentences • knowledge-based (1) • naïve pronoun resolution algorithm

  18. Classification & Clustering • Classifiers: • C4.5 (Decision Trees), RIPPER • Cluster: Best-first, single link clustering • Each NP in own class • Test preceding NPs • Select highest confidence coref, merge classes • Tune: Training sample skew: class, type

  19. Classifier for MUC-6 Data Set

  20. Unsupervised Clustering • Analogous features to supervised • Distance measure: weighted sum of features • Positive infinite weights: block clustering • Negative infinite weights: cluster, unless blocked • Others, heuristic • If distance > r (cluster radius), non-coref • Clustering: • Each NP in own class • Test each preceding NP for dist < r • If so, cluster, UNLESS incompatible NP • Performance: Middling: b/t best and worst

  21. Problem 1 • Coreference is a rare relation • skewed class distributions (2% positive instances) • remove some negative instances NP1 NP2 NP3 NP4 NP5 NP6 NP7 NP8 NP9 farthest antecedent

  22. Problem 2 • Coreference is a discourse-level problem • different solutions for different types of NPs • proper names: string matching and aliasing • inclusion of “hard” positive training instances • positive example selection: selects easy positive training instances (cf. Harabagiu et al. (2001)) Queen Elizabeth set about transforming herhusband, King George VI, into a viable monarch. Logue, the renowned speech therapist, was summoned to help the King overcome his speech impediment...

  23. Problem 3 • Coreference is an equivalence relation • loss of transitivity • need to tighten the connection between classification and clustering • prune learned rules w.r.t. the clustering-level coreference scoring function coref ? coref ? [Queen Elizabeth] set about transforming [her] [husband], ... not coref ?

  24. Weakly Supervised Learning • Exploit small pool of labeled training data • Larger pool unlabeled • Single-View Multi-Learner Co-training • 2 different learning algorithms, same feature set • each classifier labels unlabeled instances for the other classifier • data pool is flushed after each iteration

  25. Effectiveness • Supervised learning approaches • Comparable performance to knowledge-based • Weakly supervised approaches • Decent effectiveness, still lags supervised • Dramatically less labeled training data • 1K vs 500K

  26. Reference Resolution: Extensions • Cross-document co-reference • (Baldwin & Bagga 1998) • Break “the document boundary” • Question: “John Smith” in A = “John Smith” in B? • Approach: • Integrate: • Within-document co-reference • with • Vector Space Model similarity

  27. Cross-document Co-reference • Run within-document co-reference (CAMP) • Produce chains of all terms used to refer to entity • Extract all sentences with reference to entity • Pseudo per-entity summary for each document • Use Vector Space Model (VSM) distance to compute similarity between summaries

  28. Cross-document Co-reference • Experiments: • 197 NYT articles referring to “John Smith” • 35 different people, 24: 1 article each • With CAMP: Precision 92%; Recall 78% • Without CAMP: Precision 90%; Recall 76% • Pure Named Entity: Precision 23%; Recall 100%

  29. Conclusions • Co-reference establishes coherence • Reference resolution depends on coherence • Variety of approaches: • Syntactic constraints, Recency, Frequency,Role • Similar effectiveness - different requirements • Co-reference can enable summarization within and across documents (and languages!)

  30. Coherence & Coreference • Cohesion: Establishes semantic unity of discourse • Necessary condition • Different types of cohesive forms and relations • Enables interpretation of referring expressions • Reference resolution • Syntactic/Semantic Constraints/Preferences • Discourse, Task/Domain, World knowledge • Structure and semantic constraints

  31. Challenges • Alternative approaches to reference resolution • Different constraints, rankings, combination • Different types of referent • Speech acts, propositions, actions, events • “Inferrables” - e.g. car -> door, hood, trunk,.. • Discontinuous sets • Generics • Time