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  1. Learning representations of entity mentions is a core component of modern entity linking systems for both candidate generation and making linking predictions. In this paper, we present and empirically analyze a novel training approach for learning mention and entity representations that is based on building minimum spanning arborescences (i.e., directed spanning trees) over mentions and entities across documents to explicitly model mention coreference relationships. We demonstrate the efficacy of our approach by showing significant improvements in both candidate generation recall and linking accuracy on the Zero-Shot Entity Linking dataset and MedMentions, the largest publicly available biomedical dataset. In addition, we show that our improvements in candidate generation yield higher quality re-ranking models downstream, setting a new SOTA result in linking accuracy on MedMentions. Finally, we demonstrate that our improved mention representations are also effective for the discovery of new entities via cross-document coreference.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  2. We consider the problem of clustering with user feedback. Existing methods express constraints about the input data points, most commonly through must-link and cannot-link constraints on data point pairs. In this paper, we introduce existential cluster constraints: a new form of feedback where users indicate the features of desired clusters. Specifically, users make statements about the existence of a cluster having (and not having) particular features. Our approach has multiple advantages: (1) constraints on clusters can express user intent more efficiently than point pairs; (2) in cases where the users’ mental model is of the desired clusters, it is more natural for users to express cluster-wise preferences; (3) it functions even when privacy restrictions prohibit users from seeing raw data. In addition to introducing existential cluster constraints, we provide an inference algorithm for incorporating our constraints into the output clustering. Finally, we demonstrate empirically that our proposed framework facilitates more accurate clustering with dramatically fewer user feedback inputs.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  3. Coreference decisions among event mentions and among co-occurring entity mentions are highly interdependent, thus motivating joint inference. Capturing the uncertainty over each variable can be crucial for inference among multiple dependent variables. Previous work on joint coreference employs heuristic approaches, lacking well-defined objectives, and lacking modeling of uncertainty on each side of the joint problem. We present a new approach of joint coreference, including (1) a formal cost function inspired by Dasgupta’s cost for hierarchical clustering, and (2) a representation for uncertainty of clustering of event and entity mentions, again based on a hierarchical structure. We describe an alternating optimization method for inference that when clustering event mentions, considers the uncertainty of the clustering of entity mentions and vice-versa. We show that our proposed joint model provides empirical advantages over state-of-the-art independent and joint models.
  4. Due to large number of entities in biomedical knowledge bases, only a small fraction of entities have corresponding labelled training data. This necessitates entity linking models which are able to link mentions of unseen entities using learned representations of entities. Previous approaches link each mention independently, ignoring the relationships within and across documents between the entity mentions. These relations can be very useful for linking mentions in biomedical text where linking decisions are often difficult due mentions having a generic or a highly specialized form. In this paper, we introduce a model in which linking decisions can be made not merely by linking to a knowledge base entity but also by grouping multiple mentions together via clustering and jointly making linking predictions. In experiments on the largest publicly available biomedical dataset, we improve the best independent prediction for entity linking by 3.0 points of accuracy, and our clustering-based inference model further improves entity linking by 2.3 points.
  5. Archived data from the US network of weather radars hold detailed information about bird migration over the last 25 years, including very high-resolution partial measurements of velocity. Historically, most of this spatial resolution is discarded and velocities are summarized at a very small number of locations due to modeling and algorithmic limitations. This paper presents a Gaussian process (GP) model to reconstruct high-resolution full velocity fields across the entire US. The GP faithfully models all aspects of the problem in a single joint framework, including spatially random velocities, partial velocity measurements, station-specific geometries, measurement noise, and an ambiguity known as aliasing. We develop fast inference algorithms based on the FFT; to do so, we employ a creative use of Laplace's method to sidestep the fact that the kernel of the joint process is non-stationary.
  6. Bias in decisions made by modern software is becoming a common and serious problem. We present Themis, an automated test suite generator to measure two types of discrimination, including causal relationships between sensitive inputs and program behavior. We explain how Themis can measure discrimination and aid its debugging, describe a set of optimizations Themis uses to reduce test suite size, and demonstrate Themis' effectiveness on open-source software. Themis is open-source and all our evaluation data are available at http://fairness.cs.umass.edu/. See a video of Themis in action: https://youtu.be/brB8wkaUesY