Inter-annotator agreement on a multilingual semantic annotation task

  • Passonneau R
  • Habash N
  • Rambow O
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Six sites participated in the Interlingual Annotation of Multilingual Text Corpora (IAMTC) project (Dorr et al., 2004; Farwell et al., 2004; Mitamura et al., 2004). Parsed versions of English translations of news articles in Arabic, French, Hindi, Japanese, Korean and Spanish were annotated by up to ten annotators. Their task was to match open-class lexical items (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs) to one or more concepts taken from the Omega ontology (Philpot et al., 2003), and to identify theta roles for verb arguments. The annotated corpus is intended to be a resource for meaning-based approaches to machine translation. Here we discuss inter-annotator agreement for the corpus. The annotation task is characterized by annotators’ freedom to select multiple concepts or roles per lexical item. As a result, the annotation categories are sets, the number of which is bounded only by the number of distinct annotator-lexical item pairs. We use a reliability metric designed to handle partial agreement between sets. The best results pertain to the part of the ontology derived from WordNet. We examine change over the course of the project, differences among annotators, and differences across parts of speech. Our results suggest a strong learning effect early in the project.

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  • Rebecca Passonneau

  • Nizar Habash

  • Owen Rambow

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