Knowledge-aware Named Entity Recognition with Alleviating Heterogeneity


  • Binling Nie Hangzhou Dianzi University
  • Ruixue Ding Alibaba Group
  • Pengjun Xie Alibaba
  • Fei Huang Alibaba
  • Chen Qian Tsinghua University
  • Luo Si Alibaba Group


Information Extraction


Named Entity Recognition (NER) is a fundamental and important research topic for many downstream NLP tasks, aiming at detecting and classifying named entities (NEs) mentioned in unstructured text into pre-defined categories. Learning from labeled data only is far from enough when it comes to domain-specific or temporally-evolving entities (medical terminologies or restaurant names). Luckily, open-source Knowledge Bases (KBs) (Wikidata and Freebase) contain NEs that are manually labeled with predefined types in different domains, which is potentially beneficial to identify entity boundaries and recognize entity types more accurately. However, the type system of a domain-specific NER task is typically independent of that of current KBs and thus exhibits heterogeneity issue inevitably, which makes matching between the original NER and KB types (Person in NER potentially matches President in KBs) less likely, or introduces unintended noises without considering domain-specific knowledge (Band in NER should be mapped to Out_of_Entity_Types in the restaurant-related task). To better incorporate and denoise the abundant knowledge in KBs, we propose a new KB-aware NER framework (KaNa), which utilizes type-heterogeneous knowledge to improve NER. Specifically, for an entity mention along with a set of candidate entities that are linked from KBs, KaNa first uses a type projection mechanism that maps the mention type and entity types into a shared space to homogenize the heterogeneous entity types. Then, based on projected types, a noise detector filters out certain less-confident candidate entities in an unsupervised manner. Finally, the filtered mention-entity pairs are injected into a NER model as a graph to predict answers. The experimental results demonstrate KaNa's state-of-the-art performance on five public benchmark datasets from different domains.




How to Cite

Nie, B., Ding, R., Xie, P., Huang, F., Qian, C., & Si, L. (2021). Knowledge-aware Named Entity Recognition with Alleviating Heterogeneity. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 35(15), 13595-13603. Retrieved from



AAAI Technical Track on Speech and Natural Language Processing II