Popular language models (LMs) struggle to capture knowledge about rare tail facts and entities. Since widely used systems such as search and personal-assistants must support the long tail of entities that users ask about, there has been significant effort towards enhancing these base LMs with factual knowledge. We observe proposed methods typically start with a base LM and data that has been annotated with entity metadata, then change the model, by modifying the architecture or introducing auxiliary loss terms to better capture entity knowledge. In this work, we question this typical process and ask to what extent can we match the quality of model modifications, with a simple alternative: using a base LM and only changing the data. We propose metadata shaping, a method which inserts substrings corresponding to the readily available entity metadata, e.g. types and descriptions, into examples at train and inference time based on mutual information. Despite its simplicity, metadata shaping is quite effective. On standard evaluation benchmarks for knowledge-enhanced LMs, the method exceeds the base-LM baseline by an average of 4.3 F1 points and achieves state-of-the-art results. We further show the gains are on average 4.4x larger for the slice of examples containing tail vs. popular entities.
Cross-Domain Data Integration for Named Entity Disambiguation in Biomedical Text
Maya Varma | Laurel Orr | Sen Wu | Megan Leszczynski | Xiao Ling | Christopher Ré
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021
Named entity disambiguation (NED), which involves mapping textual mentions to structured entities, is particularly challenging in the medical domain due to the presence of rare entities. Existing approaches are limited by the presence of coarse-grained structural resources in biomedical knowledge bases as well as the use of training datasets that provide low coverage over uncommon resources. In this work, we address these issues by proposing a cross-domain data integration method that transfers structural knowledge from a general text knowledge base to the medical domain. We utilize our integration scheme to augment structural resources and generate a large biomedical NED dataset for pretraining. Our pretrained model with injected structural knowledge achieves state-of-the-art performance on two benchmark medical NED datasets: MedMentions and BC5CDR. Furthermore, we improve disambiguation of rare entities by up to 57 accuracy points.