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Generative vs Discriminative approaches to entity Recognition from label deficient data

Cyril Goutte, Eric Gaussier, Nicola Cancedda, Hervé Dejean
Annotating biomedical text for Named Entity Recognition (NER) is usually a tedious and expensive process, while unannotated data is freely available in large quantities. It therefore seems relevant to address biomedical NER using Machine Learning techniques that learn from a combination of labelled and unlabelled data. We consider two approaches: one is discriminative, using Support Vector Machines, the other generative, using mixture models. We compare the two on a biomedical NER task with various levels of annotation, and different similarity measures. We also investigate the use of Fisher kernels as a way to leverage the strength of both approaches. Overall the discriminative approach using standard similarity measures seems to out-perform both the generative approach and the Fisher kernels.
JADT 2004, 7èmes journées internationales analyse statistique des données textuelles, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, 10-12 mars 2004.


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