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Unsupervised Event Chain Mining from Multiple Documents

Yizhu Jiao
Ming Zhong
Jiaming Shen
Yunyi Zhang
Chao Zhang
Jiawei Han
Proceedings of the ACM Web Conference 2023
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Massive and fast-evolving news articles keep emerging on the web. To effectively summarize and provide concise insights into real-world events, we propose a new event knowledge extraction task Event Chain Mining in this paper. Given multiple documents about a super event, it aims to mine a series of salient events in temporal order. For example, the event chain of super event "Mexico Earthquake in 2017" is {"earthquake hit Mexico", "destroy houses", "kill people", "block roads"}. This task can help readers capture the gist of texts quickly, thereby improving reading efficiency and deepening text comprehension. To address this task, we regard an event as a cluster of different mentions of similar meanings. In this way, we can identify the different expressions of events, enrich their semantic knowledge and replenish relation information among them. Taking events as the basic unit, we present a novel unsupervised framework, EMiner. Specifically, we extract event mentions from texts and merge them with similar meanings into a cluster as a single event. By jointly incorporating both content and commonsense, essential events are then selected and arranged chronologically to form an event chain. Meanwhile, we annotate a multi-document benchmark to build a comprehensive testbed for the proposed task. Extensive experiments are conducted to verify the effectiveness of EMiner in terms of both automatic and human evaluations.