Better Low-Resource Entity Recognition Through Translation and Annotation Fusion

Yang Chen, Vedaant Shah, Alan Ritter

Pre-trained multilingual language models have enabled significant advancements in cross-lingual transfer. However, these models often exhibit a performance disparity when transferring from high-resource languages to low-resource languages, especially for languages that are underrepresented or not in the pre-training data. Motivated by the superior performance of these models on high-resource languages compared to low-resource languages, we introduce a Translation-and-fusion framework, which translates low-resource language text into a high-resource language for annotation using fully supervised models before fusing the annotations back into the low-resource language. Based on this framework, we present TransFusion, a model trained to fuse predictions from a high-resource language to make robust predictions on low-resource languages. We evaluate our methods on two low-resource named entity recognition (NER) datasets, MasakhaNER2.0 and LORELEI NER, covering 25 languages, and show consistent improvement up to +16 F$_1$ over English fine-tuning systems, achieving state-of-the-art performance compared to Translate-train systems. Our analysis depicts the unique advantages of the TransFusion method which is robust to translation errors and source language prediction errors, and complimentary to adapted multilingual language models.

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