Iteratively Improving Biomedical Entity Linking and Event Extraction via Hard Expectation-Maximization

by   Xiaochu Li, et al.

Biomedical entity linking and event extraction are two crucial tasks to support text understanding and retrieval in the biomedical domain. These two tasks intrinsically benefit each other: entity linking disambiguates the biomedical concepts by referring to external knowledge bases and the domain knowledge further provides additional clues to understand and extract the biological processes, while event extraction identifies a key trigger and entities involved to describe each biological process which also captures the structural context to better disambiguate the biomedical entities. However, previous research typically solves these two tasks separately or in a pipeline, leading to error propagation. What's more, it's even more challenging to solve these two tasks together as there is no existing dataset that contains annotations for both tasks. To solve these challenges, we propose joint biomedical entity linking and event extraction by regarding the event structures and entity references in knowledge bases as latent variables and updating the two task-specific models in a hard Expectation-Maximization (EM) fashion: (1) predicting the missing variables for each partially annotated dataset based on the current two task-specific models, and (2) updating the parameters of each model on the corresponding pseudo completed dataset. Experimental results on two benchmark datasets: Genia 2011 for event extraction and BC4GO for entity linking, show that our joint framework significantly improves the model for each individual task and outperforms the strong baselines for both tasks. We will make the code and model checkpoints publicly available once the paper is accepted.


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