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A deep active learning-based and crowdsourcing-assisted solution for named entity recognition in Chinese historical corpora

Chengxi Yan (School of Information Resource Management, Renmin University of China, Beijing, China) (Research Center for Digital Humanities, Renmin University of China, Beijing, China)
Xuemei Tang (Department of Information Management, Peking University, Beijing, China)
Hao Yang (Digital Humanities Centre, Peking University, Beijing, China)
Jun Wang (Department of Information Management, Peking University, Beijing, China) (Digital Humanities Centre, Peking University, Beijing, China)

Aslib Journal of Information Management

ISSN: 2050-3806

Article publication date: 13 December 2022

16

Abstract

Purpose

The majority of existing studies about named entity recognition (NER) concentrate on the prediction enhancement of deep neural network (DNN)-based models themselves, but the issues about the scarcity of training corpus and the difficulty of annotation quality control are not fully solved, especially for Chinese ancient corpora. Therefore, designing a new integrated solution for Chinese historical NER, including automatic entity extraction and man-machine cooperative annotation, is quite valuable for improving the effectiveness of Chinese historical NER and fostering the development of low-resource information extraction.

Design/methodology/approach

The research provides a systematic approach for Chinese historical NER with a three-stage framework. In addition to the stage of basic preprocessing, the authors create, retrain and yield a high-performance NER model only using limited labeled resources during the stage of augmented deep active learning (ADAL), which entails three steps—DNN-based NER modeling, hybrid pool-based sampling (HPS) based on the active learning (AL), and NER-oriented data augmentation (DA). ADAL is thought to have the capacity to maintain the performance of DNN as high as possible under the few-shot constraint. Then, to realize machine-aided quality control in crowdsourcing settings, the authors design a stage of globally-optimized automatic label consolidation (GALC). The core of GALC is a newly-designed label consolidation model called simulated annealing-based automatic label aggregation (“SA-ALC”), which incorporates the factors of worker reliability and global label estimation. The model can assure the annotation quality of those data from a crowdsourcing annotation system.

Findings

Extensive experiments on two types of Chinese classical historical datasets show that the authors’ solution can effectively reduce the corpus dependency of a DNN-based NER model and alleviate the problem of label quality. Moreover, the results also show the superior performance of the authors’ pipeline approaches (i.e. HPS + DA and SA-ALC) compared to equivalent baselines in each stage.

Originality/value

The study sheds new light on the automatic extraction of Chinese historical entities in an all-technological-process integration. The solution is helpful to effectively reducing the annotation cost and controlling the labeling quality for the NER task. It can be further applied to similar tasks of information extraction and other low-resource fields in theoretical and practical ways.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This paper is supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (72010107003) and China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2021M703564). The authors would also like to thank all the reviewers for the comments.

Citation

Yan, C., Tang, X., Yang, H. and Wang, J. (2022), "A deep active learning-based and crowdsourcing-assisted solution for named entity recognition in Chinese historical corpora", Aslib Journal of Information Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/AJIM-03-2022-0107

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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