Unsupervised Methods for Determining Object and Relation Synonyms on the Web

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A. Yates
O. Etzioni


The task of identifying synonymous relations and objects, or synonym resolution, is critical for high-quality information extraction. This paper investigates synonym resolution in the context of unsupervised information extraction, where neither hand-tagged training examples nor domain knowledge is available. The paper presents a scalable, fully-implemented system that runs in O(KN log N) time in the number of extractions, N, and the maximum number of synonyms per word, K. The system, called Resolver , introduces a probabilistic relational model for predicting whether two strings are co-referential based on the similarity of the assertions containing them. On a set of two million assertions extracted from the Web, Resolver resolves objects with 78% precision and 68% recall, and resolves relations with 90% precision and 35% recall. Several variations of resolver's probabilistic model are explored, and experiments demonstrate that under appropriate conditions these variations can improve F1 by 5%. An extension to the basic Resolver system allows it to handle polysemous names with 97% precision and 95% recall on a data set from the TREC corpus.

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