hmBERT: Historical Multilingual Language Models for Named Entity Recognition

Stefan Schweter, Luisa März, Katharina Schmid, Erion Çano

Veröffentlichungen: Beitrag zu KonferenzPaperPeer Reviewed


Compared to standard Named Entity Recognition (NER), identifying persons, locations, and organizations in historical texts constitutes a big challenge. To obtain machine-readable corpora, the historical text is usually scanned and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) needs to be performed. As a result, the historical corpora contain errors. Also, entities like location or organization can change over time, which poses another challenge. Overall, historical texts come with several peculiarities that differ greatly from modern texts and large labeled corpora for training a neural tagger are hardly available for this domain. In this work, we tackle NER for historical German, English, French, Swedish, and Finnish by training large historical language models. We circumvent the need for large amounts of labeled data by using unlabeled data for pretraining a language model. We propose hmBERT, a historical multilingual BERT-based language model, and release the model in several versions of different sizes. Furthermore, we evaluate the capability of hmBERT by solving downstream NER as part of this year's HIPE-2022 shared task and provide detailed analysis and insights. For the Multilingual Classical Commentary coarse-grained NER challenge, our tagger HISTeria outperforms the other teams' models for two out of three languages.
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 5 Sep. 2022

ÖFOS 2012

  • 102001 Artificial Intelligence