The Necessity of Syntactic Parsing for Semantic Role Labeling

Published in IJCAI-2005, 2005

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We provide an experimental study of the role of syntactic parsing in semantic role labeling. Our conclusions demonstrate that syntactic parse information is clearly most relevant in the very first stage – the pruning stage. In addition, the quality of the pruning stage cannot be determined solely based on its recall and precision. Instead it depends on the characteristics of the output candidates that make downstream problems easier or harder. Motivated by this observation, we suggest an effective and simple approach of combining different semantic role labeling systems through joint inference, which significantly improves the performance.