Frame-Semantic Parsing

Desai Chen
André F. T. Martins
Nathan Schneider
Noah A. Smith
Computational Linguistics, 40:1(2014), pp. 9-56
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Frame semantics (Fillmore 1982) is a linguistic theory that has been instantiated for English in the FrameNet lexicon (Fillmore, Johnson, and Petruck 2003). We solve the problem of frame-semantic parsing using a two-stage statistical model that takes lexical targets (i.e., content words and phrases) in their sentential contexts and predicts frame-semantic structures. Given a target in context, the first stage disambiguates it to a semantic frame. This model employs latent variables and semi-supervised learning to improve frame disambiguation for targets unseen at training time. The second stage finds the target's locally expressed semantic arguments. At inference time, a fast exact dual decomposition algorithm collectively predicts all the arguments of a frame at once in order to respect declaratively stated linguistic constraints, resulting in qualitatively better structures than naïve local predictors. Both components are feature-based and discriminatively trained on a small set of annotated frame-semantic parses. On the SemEval 2007 benchmark dataset, the approach, along with a heuristic identifier of frame-evoking targets, outperforms the prior state of the art by significant margins. Additionally, we present experiments on the much larger FrameNet 1.5 dataset. We have released our frame-semantic parser as open-source software.