Weakly Supervised Subevent Knowledge Acquisition

Subevents elaborate an event and widely exist in event descriptions. Subevent knowledge is useful for discourse analysis and event-centric applications. Acknowledging the scarcity of subevent knowledge, we propose a weakly supervised approach to extract subevent relation tuples from text and build the first large scale subevent knowledge base. We first obtain the initial set of event pairs that are likely to have the subevent relation, by exploiting two observations that 1) subevents are temporally contained by the parent event, and 2) the definitions of the parent event can be used to further guide the identification of subevents. Then, we collect rich weak supervision using the initial seed subevent pairs to train a contextual classifier using BERT and apply the classifier to identify new subevent pairs. The evaluation showed that the acquired subevent tuples (239K) are of high quality (90.1{\%} accuracy) and cover a wide range of event types. The acquired subevent knowledge has been shown useful for discourse analysis and identifying a range of event-event relations.

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