AAAI Publications, Twenty-Sixth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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Sembler: Ensembling Crowd Sequential Labeling for Improved Quality
Xian Wu, Wei Fan, Yong Yu

Last modified: 2012-07-14


Many natural language processing tasks, such as named entity recognition (NER), part of speech (POS) tagging, word segmentation, and etc., can be formulated as sequential data labeling problems. Building a sound labeler requires very large number of correctly labeled training examples, which may not always be possible. On the other hand, crowdsourcing provides an inexpensive yet efficient alternative to collect manual sequential labeling from non-experts. However the quality of crowd labeling cannot be guaranteed, and three kinds of errors are typical: (1) incorrect annotations due to lack of expertise (e.g., labeling gene names from plain text requires corresponding domain knowledge); (2) ignored or omitted annotations due to carelessness or low confidence; (3) noisy annotations due to cheating or vandalism. To correct these mistakes, we present Sembler, a statistical model for ensembling crowd sequential labelings. Sembler considers three types of statistical information: (1) the majority agreement that proves the correctness of an annotation; (2) correct annotation that improves the credibility of the corresponding annotator; (3) correct annotation that enhances the correctness of other annotations which share similar linguistic or contextual features. We evaluate the proposed model on a real Twitter and a synthetical biological data set, and find that Sembler is particularly accurate when more than half of annotators make mistakes.


Crowdsourcing, Sequential Labeling, Conditional Random Fields

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