Exploiting Linked Data for Open and Configurable Named Entity Extraction
International journal on artificial intelligence tools
Named Entity Extraction (NEE) is the process of identifying entities in texts and, very commonly, linking them to related (Web) resources. This task is useful in several applications, e.g. for question answering, annotating documents, post-processing of search results, etc. However, existing NEE tools lack an open or easy configuration although this is very important for building domain-specific applications. For example, supporting a new category of entities, or specifying how to link the
... ted entities with online resources, is either impossible or very laborious. In this paper, we show how we can exploit semantic information (Linked Data) at real-time for configuring (handily) a NEE system and we propose a generic model for configuring such services. To explicitly define the semantics of the proposed model, we introduce an RDF/S vocabulary, called "Open NEE Configuration Model", which allows a NEE service to describe (and publish as Linked Data) its entity mining capabilities, but also to be dynamically configured. To allow relating the output of a NEE process with an applied configuration, we propose an extension of the Open Annotation Data Model which also enables an application to run advanced queries over the annotated data. As a proof of concept, we present X-Link, a fully-configurable NEE framework that realizes this approach. Contrary to the existing tools, X-Link allows the user to easily define the categories of entities that are interesting for the application at hand by exploiting one or more semantic Knowledge Bases. The user is also able to update a category and specify how to semantically link and enrich the identified entities. This enhanced configurability allows X-Link to be easily configured for different contexts for building domain-specific applications. To test the approach, we conducted a task-based evaluation with users that demonstrates its usability, and a case study that demonstrates its feasibility.