BERT got a Date: Introducing Transformers to Temporal Tagging

09/30/2021
by   Satya Almasian, et al.
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Temporal expressions in text play a significant role in language understanding and correctly identifying them is fundamental to various retrieval and natural language processing systems. Previous works have slowly shifted from rule-based to neural architectures, capable of tagging expressions with higher accuracy. However, neural models can not yet distinguish between different expression types at the same level as their rule-based counterparts. In this work, we aim to identify the most suitable transformer architecture for joint temporal tagging and type classification, as well as, investigating the effect of semi-supervised training on the performance of these systems. Based on our study of token classification variants and encoder-decoder architectures, we present a transformer encoder-decoder model using the RoBERTa language model as our best performing system. By supplementing training resources with weakly labeled data from rule-based systems, our model surpasses previous works in temporal tagging and type classification, especially on rare classes. Our code and pre-trained experiments are available at: https://github.com/satya77/Transformer_Temporal_Tagger

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