Colin Lockard


ZeroShotCeres: Zero-Shot Relation Extraction from Semi-Structured Webpages
Colin Lockard | Prashant Shiralkar | Xin Luna Dong | Hannaneh Hajishirzi
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

In many documents, such as semi-structured webpages, textual semantics are augmented with additional information conveyed using visual elements including layout, font size, and color. Prior work on information extraction from semi-structured websites has required learning an extraction model specific to a given template via either manually labeled or distantly supervised data from that template. In this work, we propose a solution for “zero-shot” open-domain relation extraction from webpages with a previously unseen template, including from websites with little overlap with existing sources of knowledge for distant supervision and websites in entirely new subject verticals. Our model uses a graph neural network-based approach to build a rich representation of text fields on a webpage and the relationships between them, enabling generalization to new templates. Experiments show this approach provides a 31% F1 gain over a baseline for zero-shot extraction in a new subject vertical.

Multi-modal Information Extraction from Text, Semi-structured, and Tabular Data on the Web
Xin Luna Dong | Hannaneh Hajishirzi | Colin Lockard | Prashant Shiralkar
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Tutorial Abstracts

The World Wide Web contains vast quantities of textual information in several forms: unstructured text, template-based semi-structured webpages (which present data in key-value pairs and lists), and tables. Methods for extracting information from these sources and converting it to a structured form have been a target of research from the natural language processing (NLP), data mining, and database communities. While these researchers have largely separated extraction from web data into different problems based on the modality of the data, they have faced similar problems such as learning with limited labeled data, defining (or avoiding defining) ontologies, making use of prior knowledge, and scaling solutions to deal with the size of the Web. In this tutorial we take a holistic view toward information extraction, exploring the commonalities in the challenges and solutions developed to address these different forms of text. We will explore the approaches targeted at unstructured text that largely rely on learning syntactic or semantic textual patterns, approaches targeted at semi-structured documents that learn to identify structural patterns in the template, and approaches targeting web tables which rely heavily on entity linking and type information. While these different data modalities have largely been considered separately in the past, recent research has started taking a more inclusive approach toward textual extraction, in which the multiple signals offered by textual, layout, and visual clues are combined into a single extraction model made possible by new deep learning approaches. At the same time, trends within purely textual extraction have shifted toward full-document understanding rather than considering sentences as independent units. With this in mind, it is worth considering the information extraction problem as a whole to motivate solutions that harness textual semantics along with visual and semi-structured layout information. We will discuss these approaches and suggest avenues for future work.


OpenKI: Integrating Open Information Extraction and Knowledge Bases with Relation Inference
Dongxu Zhang | Subhabrata Mukherjee | Colin Lockard | Luna Dong | Andrew McCallum
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long and Short Papers)

In this paper, we consider advancing web-scale knowledge extraction and alignment by integrating OpenIE extractions in the form of (subject, predicate, object) triples with Knowledge Bases (KB). Traditional techniques from universal schema and from schema mapping fall in two extremes: either they perform instance-level inference relying on embedding for (subject, object) pairs, thus cannot handle pairs absent in any existing triples; or they perform predicate-level mapping and completely ignore background evidence from individual entities, thus cannot achieve satisfying quality. We propose OpenKI to handle sparsity of OpenIE extractions by performing instance-level inference: for each entity, we encode the rich information in its neighborhood in both KB and OpenIE extractions, and leverage this information in relation inference by exploring different methods of aggregation and attention. In order to handle unseen entities, our model is designed without creating entity-specific parameters. Extensive experiments show that this method not only significantly improves state-of-the-art for conventional OpenIE extractions like ReVerb, but also boosts the performance on OpenIE from semi-structured data, where new entity pairs are abundant and data are fairly sparse.

OpenCeres: When Open Information Extraction Meets the Semi-Structured Web
Colin Lockard | Prashant Shiralkar | Xin Luna Dong
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long and Short Papers)

Open Information Extraction (OpenIE), the problem of harvesting triples from natural language text whose predicate relations are not aligned to any pre-defined ontology, has been a popular subject of research for the last decade. However, this research has largely ignored the vast quantity of facts available in semi-structured webpages. In this paper, we define the problem of OpenIE from semi-structured websites to extract such facts, and present an approach for solving it. We also introduce a labeled evaluation dataset to motivate research in this area. Given a semi-structured website and a set of seed facts for some relations existing on its pages, we employ a semi-supervised label propagation technique to automatically create training data for the relations present on the site. We then use this training data to learn a classifier for relation extraction. Experimental results of this method on our new benchmark dataset obtained a precision of over 70%. A larger scale extraction experiment on 31 websites in the movie vertical resulted in the extraction of over 2 million triples.


Semi-Supervised Event Extraction with Paraphrase Clusters
James Ferguson | Colin Lockard | Daniel Weld | Hannaneh Hajishirzi
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 2 (Short Papers)

Supervised event extraction systems are limited in their accuracy due to the lack of available training data. We present a method for self-training event extraction systems by bootstrapping additional training data. This is done by taking advantage of the occurrence of multiple mentions of the same event instances across newswire articles from multiple sources. If our system can make a high-confidence extraction of some mentions in such a cluster, it can then acquire diverse training examples by adding the other mentions as well. Our experiments show significant performance improvements on multiple event extractors over ACE 2005 and TAC-KBP 2015 datasets.