Few-shot Named Entity Recognition via Superposition Concept Discrimination

25 Mar 2024  ·  Jiawei Chen, Hongyu Lin, Xianpei Han, Yaojie Lu, Shanshan Jiang, Bin Dong, Le Sun ·

Few-shot NER aims to identify entities of target types with only limited number of illustrative instances. Unfortunately, few-shot NER is severely challenged by the intrinsic precise generalization problem, i.e., it is hard to accurately determine the desired target type due to the ambiguity stemming from information deficiency. In this paper, we propose Superposition Concept Discriminator (SuperCD), which resolves the above challenge via an active learning paradigm. Specifically, a concept extractor is first introduced to identify superposition concepts from illustrative instances, with each concept corresponding to a possible generalization boundary. Then a superposition instance retriever is applied to retrieve corresponding instances of these superposition concepts from large-scale text corpus. Finally, annotators are asked to annotate the retrieved instances and these annotated instances together with original illustrative instances are used to learn FS-NER models. To this end, we learn a universal concept extractor and superposition instance retriever using a large-scale openly available knowledge bases. Experiments show that SuperCD can effectively identify superposition concepts from illustrative instances, retrieve superposition instances from large-scale corpus, and significantly improve the few-shot NER performance with minimal additional efforts.

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