Many recent sentence-level event detection efforts focus on enriching sentence semantics, e.g., via multi-task or prompt-based learning. Despite the promising performance, these methods commonly depend on label-extensive manual annotations or require domain expertise to design sophisticated templates and rules. This paper proposes a new paradigm, named dialogue-based explanation, to enhance sentence semantics for event detection. By saying dialogue-based explanation of an event, we mean explaining it through a consistent information-intensive dialogue, with the original event description as the start utterance. We propose three simple dialogue generation methods, whose outputs are then fed into a hybrid attention mechanism to characterize the complementary event semantics. Extensive experimental results on two event detection datasets verify the effectiveness of our method and suggest promising research opportunities in the dialogue-based explanation paradigm.
Event detection (ED) identifies and classifies event triggers from unstructured texts, serving as a fundamental task for information extraction. Despite the remarkable progress achieved in the past several years, most research efforts focus on detecting events from formal texts (e.g., news articles, Wikipedia documents, financial announcements). Moreover, the texts in each dataset are either from a single source or multiple yet relatively homogeneous sources. With massive amounts of user-generated text accumulating on the Web and inside enterprises, identifying meaningful events in these informal texts, usually from multiple heterogeneous sources, has become a problem of significant practical value. As a pioneering exploration that expands event detection to the scenarios involving informal and heterogeneous texts, we propose a new large-scale Chinese event detection dataset based on user reviews, text conversations, and phone conversations in a leading e-commerce platform for food service. We carefully investigate the proposed dataset’s textual informality and multi-domain heterogeneity characteristics by inspecting data samples quantitatively and qualitatively. Extensive experiments with state-of-the-art event detection methods verify the unique challenges posed by these characteristics, indicating that multi-domain informal event detection remains an open problem and requires further efforts. Our benchmark and code are released at https://github.com/myeclipse/MUSIED.