Neural Entity Linking on Technical Service Tickets

15 May 2020  ·  Nadja Kurz, Felix Hamann, Adrian Ulges ·

Entity linking, the task of mapping textual mentions to known entities, has recently been tackled using contextualized neural networks. We address the question whether these results -- reported for large, high-quality datasets such as Wikipedia -- transfer to practical business use cases, where labels are scarce, text is low-quality, and terminology is highly domain-specific. Using an entity linking model based on BERT, a popular transformer network in natural language processing, we show that a neural approach outperforms and complements hand-coded heuristics, with improvements of about 20% top-1 accuracy. Also, the benefits of transfer learning on a large corpus are demonstrated, while fine-tuning proves difficult. Finally, we compare different BERT-based architectures and show that a simple sentence-wise encoding (Bi-Encoder) offers a fast yet efficient search in practice.

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