Machine Reading Comprehension as Data Augmentation: A Case Study on Implicit Event Argument Extraction

EMNLP 2021  ·  Jian Liu, Yufeng Chen, Jinan Xu ·

Implicit event argument extraction (EAE) is a crucial document-level information extraction task that aims to identify event arguments beyond the sentence level. Despite many efforts for this task, the lack of enough training data has long impeded the study. In this paper, we take a new perspective to address the data sparsity issue faced by implicit EAE, by bridging the task with machine reading comprehension (MRC). Particularly, we devise two data augmentation regimes via MRC, including: 1) implicit knowledge transfer, which enables knowledge transfer from other tasks, by building a unified training framework in the MRC formulation, and 2) explicit data augmentation, which can explicitly generate new training examples, by treating MRC models as an annotator. The extensive experiments have justified the effectiveness of our approach — it not only obtains state-of-the-art performance on two benchmarks, but also demonstrates superior results in a data-low scenario.

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