Joint Bootstrapping Machines for High Confidence Relation Extraction

Joint Bootstrapping Machines for High Confidence Relation Extraction

Pankaj Gupta1,2, Benjamin Roth2, Hinrich Schütze2
1Corporate Technology, Machine-Intelligence (MIC-DE), Siemens AG Munich, Germany
2CIS, University of Munich (LMU) Munich, Germany |
{beroth, inquiries}

Semi-supervised bootstrapping techniques for relationship extraction from text iteratively expand a set of initial seed instances. Due to the lack of labeled data, a key challenge in bootstrapping is semantic drift: if a false positive instance is added during an iteration, then all following iterations are contaminated. We introduce BREX, a new bootstrapping method that protects against such contamination by highly effective confidence assessment. This is achieved by using entity and template seeds jointly (as opposed to just one as in previous work), by expanding entities and templates in parallel and in a mutually constraining fashion in each iteration and by introducing higher-quality similarity measures for templates. Experimental results show that BREX achieves an that is 0.13 (0.87 vs. 0.74) better than the state of the art for four relationships.


1 Introduction

Traditional semi-supervised bootstrapping relation extractors (REs) such as BREDS Batista et al. (2015), SnowBall Agichtein and Gravano (2000) and DIPRE Brin (1998) require an initial set of seed entity pairs for the target binary relation. They find occurrences of positive seed entity pairs in the corpus, which are converted into extraction patterns, i.e., extractors, where we define an extractor as a cluster of instances generated from the corpus. The initial seed entity pair set is expanded with the relationship entity pairs newly extracted by the extractors from the text iteratively. The augmented set is then used to extract new relationships until a stopping criterion is met.

Due to lack of sufficient labeled data, rule-based systems dominate commercial use Chiticariu et al. (2013). Rules are typically defined by creating patterns around the entities (entity extraction) or entity pairs (relation extraction). Recently, supervised machine learning, especially deep learning techniques Gupta et al. (2015); Nguyen and Grishman (2015); Vu et al. (2016a, b); Gupta et al. (2016), have shown promising results in entity and relation extraction; however, they need sufficient hand-labeled data to train models, which can be costly and time consuming for web-scale extractions. Bootstrapping machine-learned rules can make extractions easier on large corpora. Thus, open information extraction systems Carlson et al. (2010); Fader et al. (2011); Mausam et al. (2012); Mesquita et al. (2013); Angeli et al. (2015) have recently been popular for domain specific or independent pattern learning.


hea:82 used hand written rules to generate more rules to extract hypernym-hyponym pairs, without distributional similarity. For entity extraction, \newciteril:82 used seed entities to generate extractors with heuristic rules and scored them by counting positive extractions. Prior work Lin et al. (2003); Gupta et al. (2014) investigated different extractor scoring measures. \newciteson:82 improved scores by introducing expected number of negative entities.


bri:82 developed the bootstrapping relation extraction system DIPRE that generates extractors by clustering contexts based on string matching. SnowBall Agichtein and Gravano (2000) is inspired by DIPRE but computes a TF-IDF representation of each context. BREDS Batista et al. (2015) uses word embeddings Mikolov et al. (2013) to bootstrap relationships.

Related work investigated adapting extractor scoring measures in bootstrapping entity extraction with either entities or templates (Table 1) as seeds (Table 2). The state-of-the-art relation extractors bootstrap with only seed entity pairs and suffer due to a surplus of unknown extractions and the lack of labeled data, leading to low confidence extractors. This in turn leads to to low confidence in the system output. Prior RE systems do not focus on improving the extractors’ scores. In addition, SnowBall and BREDS used a weighting scheme to incorporate the importance of contexts around entities and compute a similarity score that introduces additional parameters and does not generalize well.

BREE Bootstrapping Relation Extractor with Entity pair
BRET Bootstrapping Relation Extractor with Template
BREJ Bootstrapping Relation Extractor in Joint learning
type a named entity type, e.g., person
typed entity a typed entity, e.g., “Obama”,person
entity pair a pair of two typed entities
template a triple of vectors (, , ) and an entity pair
instance entity pair and template (types must be the same)
instance set extracted from corpus
a member of , i.e., an instance
the entity pair of instance
the template of instance
a set of positive seed entity pairs
a set of negative seed entity pairs
a set of positive seed templates
a set of negative seed templates
number of iterations
cluster of instances (extractor)
category of extractor
Non-Noisy-High-Confidence extractor (True Positive)
Non-Noisy-Low-Confidence extractor (True Negative)
Noisy-High-Confidence extractor (False Positive)
Noisy-Low-Confidence extractor (False Negative)
Table 1: Notation and definition of key terms

Contributions. (1) We propose a Joint Bootstrapping (JBM), an alternative to the entity-pair-centered bootstrapping for relation extraction that can take advantage of both entity-pair and template-centered methods to jointly learn extractors consisting of instances due to the occurrences of both entity pair and template seeds. It scales up the number of positive extractions for non-noisy extractors and boosts their confidence scores. We focus on improving the scores for non-noisy-low-confidence extractors, resulting in higher recall. The relation extractors bootstrapped with entity pair, template and joint seeds are named as BREE, BRET and BREJ (Table 1), respectively.

(2) Prior work on embedding-based context comparison has assumed that relations have consistent syntactic expression and has mainly addressed synonymy by using embeddings (e.g.,“acquired” – “bought”). In reality, there is large variation in the syntax of how relations are expressed, e.g., “MSFT to acquire NOK for $8B” vs. “MSFT earnings hurt by NOK acquisition”. We introduce cross-context similarities that compare all parts of the context (e.g., “to acquire” and “acquisition”) and show that these perform better (in terms of recall) than measures assuming consistent syntactic expression of relations.

(3) Experimental results demonstrate a 13% gain in score on average for four relationships and suggest eliminating four parameters, compared to the state-of-the-art method.

The motivation and benefits of the proposed JBM for relation extraction is discussed in depth in section 2.3. The method is applicable for both entity and relation extraction tasks. However, in context of relation extraction, we call it BREJ.

2 Method

2.1 Notation and definitions

We first introduce the notation and terms (Table 1).

Given a relationship like “ acquires ”, the task is to extract pairs of entities from a corpus for which the relationship is true. We assume that the arguments of the relationship are typed, e.g., and are organizations. We run a named entity tagger in preprocessing, so that the types of all candidate entities are given. The objects the bootstrapping algorithm generally handles are therefore typed entities (an entity associated with a type).

For a particular sentence in a corpus that states that the relationship (e.g., “acquires”) holds between and , a template consists of three vectors that represent the context of and . represents the context before , the context between and and the context after . These vectors are simply sums of the embeddings of the corresponding words. A template is “typed”, i.e., in addition to the three vectors it specifies the types of the two entities. An instance joins an entity pair and a template. The types of entity pair and template must be the same.

The first step of bootstrapping is to extract a set of instances from the input corpus. We refer to this set as . We will use and to refer to instances. is the entity pair of instance and is the template of instance .

A required input to our algorithm are sets of positive and negative seeds for either entity pairs ( and ) or templates ( and ) or both. We define to be a tuple of all four seed sets.

We run our bootstrapping algorithm for iterations where is a parameter.

A key notion is the similarity between two instances. We will experiment with different similarity measures. The baseline is Batista et al. (2015)’s measure given in Figure 4, first line: the similarity of two instances is given as a weighted sum of the dot products of their before contexts (), their between contexts () and their after contexts () where the weights are parameters. We give this definition for instances, but it also applies to templates since only the context vectors of an instance are used, not the entities.

The similarity between an instance and a cluster of instances is defined as the maximum similarity of with any member of the cluster; see Figure 2, right, Eq. 5. Again, there is a straightforward extension to a cluster of templates: see Figure 2, right, Eq. 6.

The extractors can be categorized as follows:


where is the relation to be bootstrapped. The is a member of . For instance, a is called as a non-noisy-low-confidence extractor if it represents the target relation (i.e., ), however with the confidence below a certain threshold (). Extractors of types and are desirable, those of types and undesirable within bootstrapping.

2.2 The Bootstrapping Machines: BREX

To describe BREX (Figure 1) in its most general form, we use the term item to refer to an entity pair, a template or both.

The input to BREX (Figure 2, left, line 01) is a set of instances extracted from a corpus and , a structure consisting of one set of positive and one set of negative seed items. (line 02) collects the items that BREX extracts in several iterations. In each of iterations (line 03), BREX first initializes the cache (line 04); this cache collects the items that are extracted in this iteration. The design of the algorithm balances elements that ensure high recall with elements that ensure high precision.

High recall is achieved by starting with the seeds and making three “hops” that consecutively consider order-1, order-2 and order-3 neighbors of the seeds. On line 05, we make the first hop: all instances that are similar to a seed are collected where “similarity” is defined differently for different BREX configurations (see below). The collected instances are then clustered, similar to work on bootstrapping by \newcitegra:82 and \newcitebat:82. On line 06, we make the second hop: all instances that are within of a hop-1 instance are added; each such instance is only added to one cluster, the closest one; see definition of : Figure 2, Eq. 8. On line 07, we make the third hop: we include all instances that are within of a hop-2 instance; see definition of : Figure 2, Eq. 7. In summary, every instance that can be reached by three hops from a seed is being considered at this point. A cluster of hop-2 instances is named as extractor.

Figure 1: Joint Bootstrapping Machine. The red and blue filled circles/rings are the instances generated due to seed entity pairs and templates, respectively. Each dashed rectangular box represents a cluster of instances. Numbers indicate the flow. Follow the notations from Table 1 and Figure 2.
              Algorithm: BREX 01 INPUT: , 02 03 for iterations: 04 05 06 07 for each : 08 if 09 10 11 OUTPUT: , (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12)
Figure 2: BREX algorithm (left) and definition of key concepts (right)
Seed Type Entity pairs Templates Joint (Entity pairs + Templates)
09 ,
Figure 3: BREX configurations

High precision is achieved by imposing, on line 08, a stringent check on each instance before its information is added to the cache. The core function of this check is given in Figure 2, Eq. 9. This definition is a soft version of the following hard max, which is easier to explain:

We are looking for a cluster in that licenses the extraction of with high confidence. (Figure 2, Eq. 10), the confidence of a single cluster (i.e., extractor) for an instance, is defined as the product of the overall reliability of (which is independent of ) and the similarity of to , the second factor in Eq. 10, i.e., . This factor prevents an extraction by a cluster whose members are all distant from the instance – even if the cluster itself is highly reliable.

The first factor in Eq. 10, i.e., , assesses the reliability of a cluster : we compute the ratio , i.e., the ratio between the number of instances in that match a negative and positive gold seed, respectively; see Figure 3, line (i). If this ratio is close to zero, then likely false positive extractions are few compared to likely true positive extractions. For the simple version of the algorithm (for which we set , ), this results in being close to 1 and the reliability measure it not discounted. On the other hand, if is larger, meaning that the relative number of likely false positive extractions is high, then shrinks towards 0, resulting in progressive discounting of and leading to non-noisy-low-confidence extractor, particularly for a reliable . Due to lack of labeled data, the scoring mechanism cannot distinguish between noisy and non-noisy extractors. Therefore, an extractor is judged by its ability to extract more positive and less negative extractions. Note that we carefully designed this precision component to give good assessments while at the same time making maximum use of the available seeds. The reliability statistics are computed on , i.e., on hop-2 instances (not on hop-3 instances). The ratio is computed on instances that directly match a gold seed – this is the most reliable information we have available.

After all instances have been checked (line 08) and (if they passed muster) added to the cache (line 09), the inner loop ends and the cache is merged into the yield (line 10). Then a new loop (lines 03–10) of hop-1, hop-2 and hop-3 extensions and cluster reliability tests starts.

Figure 4: Similarity measures. These definitions for instances equally apply to templates since the definitions only depend on the “template part” of an instance, i.e., its vectors. (value is 0 if types are different)

Thus, the algorithm consists of iterations. There is a tradeoff here between and . We will give two extreme examples, assuming that we want to extract a fixed number of instances where is given. We can achieve this goal either by setting =1 and choosing a small , which will result in very large hops. Or we can achieve this goal by setting to a large value and running the algorithm for a larger number of . The flexibility that the two hyperparameters and afford is important for good performance.

Figure 5: Illustration of Scaling-up Positive Instances. : an instance in extractor, . Y: YES and N: NO
Figure 6: An illustration of scaling positive extractions and computing confidence for a non-noisy extractor generated for acquired relation. The dashed rectangular box represents an extractor , where (BREJ) is hybrid with 6 instances. Text segments matched with seed template are shown in italics. Unknowns (bold in black) are considered as negatives. is a set of output instances where .


The main contribution of this paper is that we propose, as an alternative to entity-pair-centered BREE Batista et al. (2015), template-centered BRET as well as BREJ (Figure 1), an instantiation of BREX that can take advantage of both entity pairs and templates. The differences and advantages of BREJ over BREE and BRET are:

(1) Disjunctive Matching of Instances: The first difference is realized in how the three algorithms match instances with seeds (line 05 in Figure 3). BREE checks whether the entity pair of an instance is one of the entity pair seeds, BRET checks whether the template of an instance is one of the template seeds and BREJ checks whether the disjunction of the two is true. The disjunction facilitates a higher hit rate in matching instances with seeds. The introduction of a few handcrafted templates along with seed entity pairs allows BREJ to leverage discriminative patterns and learn similar ones via distributional semantics. In Figure 1, the joint approach results in hybrid extractors that contain instances due to seed occurrences of both entity pairs and templates.

(2) Hybrid Augmentation of Seeds: On line 09 in Figure 3, we see that the bootstrapping step is defined in a straightforward fashion: the entity pair of an instance is added for BREE, the template for BRET and both for BREJ. Figure 1 demonstrates the hybrid augmentation of seeds via red and blue rings of output instances.

Relationship Seed Entity Pairs Seed Templates
{[X] acquire [Y]},{[X] acquisition [Y]},{[X] buy [Y]},
{[X] takeover [Y]},{[X] merger with [Y]}
{CNN;Ted Turner},{Facebook;Mark Zuckerberg},
{Microsoft;Paul Allen},{Amazon;Jeff Bezos},
{[X] founded by [Y]},{[X] co-founder [Y]},{[X] started by [Y]},
{[X] founder of [Y]},{[X] owner of [Y]}
{Nokia;Espoo},{Pfizer;New York},
{United Nations;New York},{NATO;Brussels},
{[X] based in [Y]},{[X] headquarters in [Y]},{[X] head office in [Y]},
{[X] main office building in [Y]},{[X] campus branch in [Y]}
{Google;Marissa Mayer},{Xerox;Ursula Burns},
{ Microsoft;Steve Ballmer},{Microsoft;Bill Gates},
{[X] CEO [Y]},{[X] resign from [Y]},{[X] founded by [Y]},
{[X] worked for [Y]},{[X] chairman director [Y]}
Table 2: Seed Entity Pairs and Templates for each relation. [X] and [Y] are slots for entity type tags.

(3) Scaling Up Positives in Extractors: As discussed in section 2.2, a good measure of the quality of an extractor is crucial and , the number of instances in an extractor that match a seed, is an important component of that. For BREE and BRET, the definition follows directly from the fact that these are entity-pair and template-centered instantiations of BREX, respectively. However, the disjunctive matching of instances for an extractor with entity pair and template seeds in BREJ (Figure 3 line “(i)” ) boosts the likelihood of finding positive instances. In Figure 5, we demonstrate computing the count of positive instances for an extractor within the three systems. Observe that an instance in can scale its by a factor of maximum 2 in BREJ if is matched in both entity pair and template seeds. The reliability (Eq. 11) of an extractor is based on the ratio , therefore suggesting that the scaling boosts its confidence.

In Figure 6, we demonstrate with an example how the joint bootstrapping scales up the positive instances for a non-noisy extractor , resulting in for BREJ compared to in BREE.

Due to unlabeled data, the instances not matching in seeds are considered either to be ignored/unknown or negatives in the confidence measure (Eq. 11). The former leads to high confidences for noisy extractors by assigning high scores, the latter to low confidences for non-noisy extractors by penalizing them. For a simple version of the algorithm in the illustration, we consider them as negatives and set . Figure 6 shows the three extractors () generated and their confidence scores in BREE, BRET and BREJ. Observe that the scaling up of positives in BREJ due to BRET extractions (without ) discounts relatively lower than BREE. The discounting results in in BREJ and in BREE. The discounting in BREJ is adapted for non-noisy extractors facilitated by BRET in generating mostly non-noisy extractors due to stringent checks (Figure 3, line “(i)” and 05). Intuitively, the intermixing of non-noisy extractors (i.e., hybrid) promotes the scaling and boosts recall.

2.4 Similarity Measures

The before () and after () contexts around the entities are highly sparse due to large variation in the syntax of how relations are expressed. SnowBall, DIPRE and BREE assumed that the between () context mostly defines the syntactic expression for a relation and used weighted mechanism on the three contextual similarities in pairs, (Figure 4). They assigned higher weights to the similarity in between () contexts, that resulted in lower recall. We introduce attentive () similarity across all contexts (for example, ) to automatically capture the large variation in the syntax of how relations are expressed, without using any weights. We investigate asymmetric (Eq 13) and symmetric (Eq 14 and 15) similarity measures, and name them as cross-context attentive () similarity.

count 58,500 75,600 95,900
Table 3: Count of entity-type pairs in corpus
Parameter Description/ Search Optimal
maximum number of tokens in before context 2
maximum number of tokens in between context 6
maximum number of tokens in after context 2
similarity threshold [0.6, 0.7, 0.8] 0.7
instance confidence thresholds [0.6, 0.7, 0.8] 0.7
weights to negative extractions [0.0, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0] 0.5
weights to unknown extractions [0.0001, 0.00001] 0.0001
number of bootstrapping epochs 3
dimension of embedding vector, 300
PMI threshold in evaluation 0.5
Entity Pairs Ordered Pairs () or Bisets ()
Table 4: Hyperparameters in BREE, BRET and BREJ


baseline: BREE+ config\textsubscript2: BREE+ config\textsubscript3: BREE+ config\textsubscript4: BREE+
acquired 2687 0.88 0.48 0.62 5771 0.88 0.66 0.76 3471 0.88 0.55 0.68 3279 0.88 0.53 0.66
founder-of 628 0.98 0.70 0.82 9553 0.86 0.95 0.89 1532 0.94 0.84 0.89 1182 0.95 0.81 0.87
headquartered 16786 0.62 0.80 0.69 21299 0.66 0.85 0.74 17301 0.70 0.83 0.76 9842 0.72 0.74 0.73
affiliation 20948 0.99 0.73 0.84 27424 0.97 0.78 0.87 36797 0.95 0.82 0.88 28416 0.97 0.78 0.87
avg 10262 0.86 0.68 0.74 16011 0.84 0.81 0.82 14475 0.87 0.76 0.80 10680 0.88 0.72 0.78


config\textsubscript5: BRET+ config\textsubscript6: BRET+ config\textsubscript7: BRET+ config\textsubscript8: BRET+
acquired 4206 0.99 0.62 0.76 15666 0.90 0.85 0.87 18273 0.87 0.86 0.87 14319 0.92 0.84 0.87
founder-of 920 0.97 0.77 0.86 43554 0.81 0.98 0.89 41978 0.81 0.99 0.89 46453 0.81 0.99 0.89
headquartered 3065 0.98 0.55 0.72 39267 0.68 0.92 0.78 36374 0.71 0.91 0.80 56815 0.69 0.94 0.80
affiliation 20726 0.99 0.73 0.85 28822 0.99 0.79 0.88 44946 0.96 0.85 0.90 33938 0.97 0.81 0.89
avg 7229 0.98 0.67 0.80 31827 0.85 0.89 0.86 35393 0.84 0.90 0.86 37881 0.85 0.90 0.86


config\textsubscript9: BREJ+ config\textsubscript10: BREJ+ config\textsubscript11: BREJ+ config\textsubscript12: BREJ+
acquired 20186 0.82 0.87 0.84 35553 0.80 0.92 0.86 22975 0.86 0.89 0.87 22808 0.85 0.90 0.88
founder-of 45005 0.81 0.99 0.89 57710 0.81 1.00 0.90 50237 0.81 0.99 0.89 45374 0.82 0.99 0.90
headquartered 47010 0.64 0.93 0.76 66563 0.68 0.96 0.80 60495 0.68 0.94 0.79 57853 0.68 0.94 0.79
affiliation 40959 0.96 0.84 0.89 57301 0.94 0.88 0.91 55811 0.94 0.87 0.91 51638 0.94 0.87 0.90
avg 38290 0.81 0.91 0.85 54282 0.81 0.94 0.87 47380 0.82 0.92 0.87 44418 0.82 0.93 0.87
Table 5: Precision (), Recall () and compared to the state-of-the-art (baseline). : count of output instances with 0.5. avg: average. Bold and underline: Maximum due to BREJ and sim, respectively.

3 Evaluation

3.1 Dataset and Experimental Setup

We re-run BREE Batista et al. (2015) for baseline with a set of 5.5 million news articles from AFP and APW Parker et al. (2011). We use processed dataset of 1.2 million sentences (released by BREE) containing at least two entities linked to FreebaseEasy Bast et al. (2014). We extract four relationships: acquired (ORG-ORG), founder-of (ORG-PER), headquartered (ORG-LOC) and affiliation (ORG-PER) for Organization (ORG), Person (PER) and Location (LOC) entity types. We bootstrap relations in BREE, BRET and BREJ, each with 4 similarity measures using seed entity pairs and templates (Table 2). See Tables 3, 4 and 5 for the count of candidates, hyperparameters and different configurations, respectively.

Our evaluation is based on \newcitebro:82’s framework to estimate precision and recall of large-scale RE systems using FreebaseEasy Bast et al. (2014). Also following \newcitebro:82, we use Pointwise Mutual Information (PMI) Turney (2001) to evaluate our system automatically, in addition to relying on an external knowledge base. We consider only extracted relationship instances with confidence scores equal or above 0.5. We follow the same approach as BREE Batista et al. (2015) to detect the correct order of entities in a relational triple, where we try to identify the presence of passive voice using part-of-speech (POS) tags and considering any form of the verb to be, followed by a verb in the past tense or past participle, and ending in the word ‘by’. We use GloVe Pennington et al. (2014) embeddings.

3.2 Results and Comparison with baseline

Table 5 shows the experimental results in the three systems for the different relationships with ordered entity pairs and similarity measures (, ). Observe that BRET (config\textsubscript5) is precision-oriented while BREJ (config\textsubscript9) recall-oriented when compared to BREE (baseline). We see the number of output instances are also higher in BREJ, therefore the higher recall. The BREJ system in the different similarity configurations outperforms the baseline BREE and BRET in terms of score. On an average for the four relations, BREJ in configurations config\textsubscript9 and config\textsubscript10 results in that is (0.85 vs 0.74) and (0.87 vs 0.74) better than the baseline BREE.

0.6 1 691 0.99 0.21 0.35
2 11288 0.85 0.79 0.81
0.7 1 610 1.0 0.19 0.32
2 7948 0.93 0.75 0.83
0.8 1 522 1.0 0.17 0.29
2 2969 0.90 0.51 0.65
Table 6: Iterations () Vs Scores with thresholds () for relation acquired in BREJ. refers to and


.60 1785 .91 .39 .55 .70 1222 .94 .31 .47
.80 868 .95 .25 .39 .90 626 .96 .19 .32


.60 2995 .89 .51 .65 .70 1859 .90 .40 .55
.80 1312 .91 .32 .47 .90 752 .94 .22 .35


.60 18271 .81 .85 .83 .70 14900 .84 .83 .83
.80 8896 .88 .75 .81 .90 5158 .93 .65 .77
Table 7: Comparative analysis using different thresholds to evaluate the extracted instances for acquired

We discover that improves and recall over sim correspondingly in all three systems. Observe that performs better with BRET than BREE due to non-noisy extractors in BRET. The results suggest an alternative to the weighting scheme in sim and therefore, the state-of-the-art () performance with the 3 parameters (, and ) ignored in bootstrapping. Observe that gives higher recall than the two symmetric similarity measures.

Table 6 shows the performance of BREJ in different iterations trained with different similarity and confidence thresholds. Table 7 shows a comparative analysis of the three systems, where we consider and evaluate the extracted relationship instances at different confidence scores.

3.3 Disjunctive Seed Matching of Instances

As discussed in section 2.3, BREJ facilitates disjunctive matching of instances (line 05 Figure 3) with seed entity pairs and templates. Table 8 shows in the three systems, where the higher values of in BREJ conform to the desired property. Observe that some instances in BREJ are found to be matched in both the seed types.

acquired founder-of headquartered affiliation
71 682 743 135 956 1042 715 3447 4023 603 14888 15052
Table 8: Disjunctive matching of Instances. : the count of instances matched to positive seeds in


BREE 167 12.7 0.51 0.84 0.16 0.14 37.7 93.1 2.46
BRET 17 305.2 1.00 0.11 0.89 0.00 671.8 0.12 0.00
BREJ 555 41.6 0.74 0.71 0.29 0.03 313.2 44.8 0.14


BREE 8 13.3 0.46 0.75 0.25 0.12 44.9 600.5 13.37
BRET 5 179.0 1.00 0.00 1.00 0.00 372.2 0.0 0.00
BREJ 492 109.1 0.90 0.94 0.06 0.00 451.8 79.5 0.18


BREE 655 18.4 0.60 0.97 0.03 0.02 46.3 82.7 1.78
BRET 7 365.7 1.00 0.00 1.00 0.00 848.6 0.0 0.00
BREJ 1311 45.5 0.80 0.98 0.02 0.00 324.1 77.5 0.24


BREE 198 99.7 0.55 0.25 0.75 0.34 240.5 152.2 0.63
BRET 19 846.9 1.00 0.00 1.00 0.00 2137.0 0.0 0.00
BREJ 470 130.2 0.72 0.21 0.79 0.06 567.6 122.7 0.22
Table 9: Analyzing the attributes of extractors learned for each relationship. Attributes are: number of extractors (), number of instances in (AIE), score (AES), number of noisy (ANE), number of non-noisy (ANNE), number of below confidence 0.5 (ANNLC), number of positives (AP) and negatives (AN), ratio of AN to AP (ANP). The bold indicates comparison of BREE and BREJ with . : average


acquired 387 0.99 0.13 0.23
founder-of 28 0.96 0.09 0.17
headquartered 672 0.95 0.21 0.34
affiliation 17516 0.99 0.68 0.80
avg 4651 0.97 0.28 0.39


acquired 4031 1.00 0.61 0.76
founder-of 920 0.97 0.77 0.86
headquartered 3522 0.98 0.59 0.73
affiliation 22062 0.99 0.74 0.85
avg 7634 0.99 0.68 0.80


acquired 12278 0.87 0.81 0.84
founder-of 23727 0.80 0.99 0.89
headquartered 38737 0.61 0.91 0.73
affiliation 33203 0.98 0.81 0.89
avg 26986 0.82 0.88 0.84
Table 10: BREX+sim:Scores when ignored
config\textsubscript1: BREE + config\textsubscript5: BRET + config\textsubscript9: BREJ + config\textsubscript10: BREJ +
[X] acquired [Y] 0.98 [X] acquired [Y] 1.00 [X] acquired [Y] 1.00 acquired by [X] , [Y] 0.93
[X] takeover of [Y] 0.89 [X] takeover of [Y] 1.00 [X] takeover of [Y] 0.98 takeover of [X] would boost [Y] ’s earnings 0.90
[X] ’s planned acquisition of [Y] 0.87 [X] ’s planned acquisition of[Y] 1.00 [X] ’s planned acquisition of [Y] 0.98 acquisition of [X] by [Y] 0.95
[X] acquiring [Y] 0.75 [X] acquiring [Y] 1.00 [X] acquiring [Y] 0.95 [X] acquiring [Y] 0.95
[X] has owned part of [Y] 0.67 [X] has owned part of [Y] 1.00 [X] has owned part of [Y] 0.88 owned by [X] ’s parent [Y] 0.90
[X] took control of [Y] 0.49 [X] ’s ownership of [Y] 1.00 [X] took control of [Y] 0.91 [X] takes control of [Y] 1.00
[X] ’s acquisition of [Y] 0.35 [X] ’s acquisition of [Y] 1.00 [X] ’s acquisition of [Y] 0.95 acquisition of [X] would reduce [Y] ’s share 0.90
[X] ’s merger with [Y] 0.35 [X] ’s merger with[Y] 1.00 [X] ’s merger with [Y] 0.94 [X] - [Y] merger between 0.84
[X] ’s bid for [Y] 0.35 [X] ’s bid for [Y] 1.00 [X] ’s bid for [Y] 0.97 part of [X] which [Y] acquired 0.83
[X] founder [Y] 0.68 [X] founder [Y] 1.00 [X] founder [Y] 0.99 founder of [X] , [Y] 0.97
[X] CEO and founder [Y] 0.15 [X] CEO and founder [Y] 1.00 [X] CEO and founder [Y] 0.99 co-founder of [X] ’s millennial center , [Y] 0.94
[X] ’s co-founder [Y] 0.09 [X] owner [Y] 1.00 [X] owner [Y] 1.00 owned by [X] cofounder [Y] 0.95
[X] cofounder [Y] 1.00 [X] cofounder [Y] 1.00 Gates co-founded [X] with school friend [Y] 0.99
[X] started by [Y] 1.00 [X] started by [Y] 1.00 who co-founded [X] with [Y] 0.95
[X] was founded by [Y] 1.00 [X] was founded by [Y] 0.99 to co-found [X] with partner [Y] 0.68
[X] begun by [Y] 1.00 [X] begun by [Y] 1.00 [X] was started by [Y] , cofounder 0.98
[X] has established [Y] 1.00 [X] has established [Y] 0.99 set up [X] with childhood friend [Y] 0.96
[X] chief executive and founder [Y] 1.00 [X] co-founder and billionaire [Y] 0.99 [X] co-founder and billionaire [Y] 0.97
[X] headquarters in [Y] 0.95 [X] headquarters in [Y] 1.00 [X] headquarters in [Y] 0.98 [X] headquarters in [Y] 0.98
[X] relocated its headquarters from [Y] 0.94 [X] relocated its headquarters from [Y] 1.00 [X] relocated its headquarters from [Y] 0.98 based at [X] ’s suburban [Y] headquarters 0.98
[X] head office in [Y] 0.84 [X] head office in [Y] 1.00 [X] head office in [Y] 0.87 head of [X] ’s operations in [Y] 0.65
[X] based in [Y] 0.75 [X] based in [Y] 1.00 [X] based in [Y] 0.98 branch of [X] company based in [Y] 0.98
[X] headquarters building in [Y] 0.67 [X] headquarters building in [Y] 1.00 [X] headquarters building in [Y] 0.94 [X] main campus in [Y] 0.99
[X] headquarters in downtown [Y] 0.64 [X] headquarters in downtown [Y] 1.00 [X] headquarters in downtown [Y] 0.94 [X] headquarters in downtown [Y] 0.96
[X] branch offices in [Y] 0.54 [X] branch offices in [Y] 1.00 [X] branch offices in [Y] 0.98 [X] ’s [Y] headquarters represented 0.98
[X] ’s corporate campus in [Y] 0.51 [X] ’s corporate campus in [Y] 1.00 [X] ’s corporate campus in [Y] 0.99 [X] main campus in [Y] 0.99
[X] ’s corporate office in [Y] 0.51 [X] ’s corporate office in [Y] 1.00 [X] ’s corporate office in [Y] 0.89 [X] , [Y] ’s corporate 0.94
[X] chief executive [Y] 0.92 [X] chief executive [Y] 1.00 [X] chief executive [Y] 0.97 [X] chief executive [Y] resigned monday 0.94
[X] secretary [Y] 0.88 [X] secretary [Y] 1.00 [X] secretary [Y] 0.94 worked with [X] manager [Y] 0.85
[X] president [Y] 0.87 [X] president [Y] 1.00 [X] president [Y] 0.96 [X] voted to retain [Y] as CEO 0.98
[X] leader [Y] 0.72 [X] leader [Y] 1.00 [X] leader [Y] 0.85 head of [X] , [Y] 0.99
[X] party leader [Y] 0.67 [X] party leader [Y] 1.00 [X] party leader [Y] 0.87 working with [X] , [Y] suggested 1.00
[X] has appointed [Y] 0.63 [X] executive editor [Y] 1.00 [X] has appointed [Y] 0.81 [X] president [Y] was fired 0.90
[X] player [Y] 0.38 [X] player [Y] 1.00 [X] player [Y] 0.89 [X] ’s [Y] was fired 0.43
[X] ’s secretary-general [Y] 0.36 [X] ’s secretary-general [Y] 1.00 [X] ’s secretary-general [Y] 0.93 Chairman of [X] , [Y] 0.88
[X] hired [Y] 0.21 [X] director [Y] 1.00 [X] hired [Y] 0.56 [X] hired [Y] as manager 0.85
Table 11: Subset of the non-noisy extractors (simplified) with their confidence scores learned in different configurations for each relation. denotes that the extractor was never learned in config\textsubscript1 and config\textsubscript5. indicates that the extractor was never learned in config\textsubscript1, config\textsubscript5 and config\textsubscript9. [X] and [Y] indicate placeholders for entities.

3.4 Deep Dive into Attributes of Extractors

We analyze the extractors generated in BREE, BRET and BREJ for the 4 relations to demonstrate the impact of joint bootstrapping. Table 9 shows the attributes of . We manually annotate the extractors as noisy and non-noisy. We compute and the lower values in BREJ compared to BREE suggest fewer non-noisy extractors with lower confidence in BREJ due to the scaled confidence scores. ANNE (higher), ANNLC (lower), AP (higher) and AN (lower) collectively indicate that BRET mostly generates NNHC extractors. AP and AN indicate an average of (line “ (i)” Figure 3) for positive and negative seeds, respectively for in the three systems. Observe the impact of scaling positive extractions (AP) in BREJ that shrink i.e., ANP. It facilitates to boost its confidence, i.e., in BREJ suggested by AES that results in higher and recall (Table 5, BREJ).

3.5 Weighting Negatives Vs Scaling Positives

As discussed, Table 5 shows the performance of BREE, BRET and BREJ with the parameter in computing extractors’ confidence (Eq. 11). In other words, config\textsubscript9 (Table 5) is combination of both weighted negative and scaled positive extractions. However, we also investigate ignoring in order to demonstrate the capability of BREJ with only scaling positives and without weighting negatives. In Table 10, observe that BREJ outperformed both BREE and BRET for all the relationships due to higher and recall. In addition, BREJ scores are comparable to config\textsubscript9 (Table 5) suggesting that the scaling in BREJ is capable enough to remove the parameter . However, the combination of both weighting negatives and scaling positives results in the state-of-the-art performance.

3.6 Qualitative Inspection of Extractors

Table 11 lists some of the non-noisy extractors (simplified) learned in different configurations to illustrate boosting extractor confidence . Since, an extractor is a cluster of instances, therefore to simplify, we show one instance (mostly populated) from every . Each cell in Table 11 represents either a simplified representation of or its confidence. We demonstrate how the confidence score of a non-noisy extractor in BREE (config\textsubscript1) is increased in BREJ (config\textsubscript9 and config\textsubscript10). For instance, for the relation acquired, an extractor {[X] acquiring [Y]} is generated by BREE, BRET and BREJ; however, its confidence is boosted from in BREE (config\textsubscript1) to in BREJ (config\textsubscript9). Observe that BRET generates high confidence extractors. We also show extractors (marked by ) learned by BREJ with (config\textsubscript10) but not by config\textsubscript1, config\textsubscript5 and config\textsubscript9.

3.7 Entity Pairs: Ordered Vs Bi-Set

In Table 5, we use ordered pairs of typed entities. Additionally, we also investigate using entity sets and observe improved recall due to higher in both BREE and BREJ, comparing correspondingly Table 12 and 5 (baseline and config\textsubscript9).

4 Conclusion

We have proposed a Joint Bootstrapping Machine for relation extraction (BREJ) that takes advantage of both entity-pair-centered and template-centered approaches. We have demonstrated that the joint approach scales up positive instances that boosts the confidence of NNLC extractors and improves recall. The experiments showed that the cross-context similarity measures improved recall and suggest removing in total four parameters.

Relationships BREE + sim BREJ + sim
acquired 2786 .90 .50 .64 21733 .80 .87 .83
founder-of 543 1.0 .67 .80 31890 .80 .99 .89
headquartered 16832 .62 .81 .70 52286 .64 .94 .76
affiliation 21812 .99 .74 .85 42601 .96 .85 .90
avg 10493 .88 .68 .75 37127 .80 .91 .85
Table 12: BREX+sim:Scores with entity bisets


We thank our colleagues Bernt Andrassy, Mark Buckley, Stefan Langer, Ulli Waltinger and Usama Yaseen, and anonymous reviewers for their review comments. This research was supported by Bundeswirtschaftsministerium (, grant 01MD15010A (Smart Data Web) at Siemens AG- CT Machine Intelligence, Munich Germany.


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