Multimodal Cross-Document Event Coreference Resolution Using Linear Semantic Transfer and Mixed-Modality Ensembles

International Conference on Computational Linguistics(2024)

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Event coreference resolution (ECR) is the task of determining whether distinct mentions of events within a multi-document corpus are actually linked to the same underlying occurrence. Images of the events can help facilitate resolution when language is ambiguous. Here, we propose a multimodal cross-document event coreference resolution method that integrates visual and textual cues with a simple linear map between vision and language models. As existing ECR benchmark datasets rarely provide images for all event mentions, we augment the popular ECB+ dataset with event-centric images scraped from the internet and generated using image diffusion models. We establish three methods that incorporate images and text for coreference: 1) a standard fused model with finetuning, 2) a novel linear mapping method without finetuning and 3) an ensembling approach based on splitting mention pairs by semantic and discourse-level difficulty. We evaluate on 2 datasets: the augmented ECB+, and AIDA Phase 1. Our ensemble systems using cross-modal linear mapping establish an upper limit (91.9 CoNLL F1) on ECB+ ECR performance given the preprocessing assumptions used, and establish a novel baseline on AIDA Phase 1. Our results demonstrate the utility of multimodal information in ECR for certain challenging coreference problems, and highlight a need for more multimodal resources in the coreference resolution space.
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