Zero-shot Entity Linking with Dense Entity Retrieval

by   Ledell Wu, et al.

We consider the zero-shot entity-linking challenge where each entity is defined by a short textual description, and the model must read these descriptions together with the mention context to make the final linking decisions. In this setting, retrieving entity candidates can be particularly challenging, since many of the common linking cues such as entity alias tables and link popularity are not available. In this paper, we introduce a simple and effective two stage approach for zero-shot linking, based on fine-tuned BERT architectures. In the first stage, we do retrieval in a dense space defined by a bi-encoder that independently embeds the mention context and the entity descriptions. Each candidate is then examined more carefully with a cross-encoder, that concatenates the mention and entity text. Our approach achieves a nearly 5 point absolute gain on a recently introduced zero-shot entity linking benchmark, driven largely by improvements over previous IR-based candidate retrieval. We also show that it performs well in the non-zero-shot setting, obtaining the state-of-the-art result on TACKBP-2010.


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