Evaluating information loss in temporal dependency trees Conference

Ocal, M, Finlayson, MA. (2020). Evaluating information loss in temporal dependency trees . 2148-2156.

cited authors

  • Ocal, M; Finlayson, MA



  • Temporal Dependency Trees (TDTs) have emerged as an alternative to full temporal graphs for representing the temporal structure of texts, with a key advantage being that TDTs can be straightforwardly computed using adapted dependency parsers. Relative to temporal graphs, the tree form of TDTs naturally omits some fraction of temporal relationships, which intuitively should decrease the amount of temporal information available, potentially increasing temporal indeterminacy of the global ordering. We demonstrate a new method for quantifying this indeterminacy that relies on solving temporal constraint problems to extract timelines, and show that TDTs result in up to a 109% increase in temporal indeterminacy over their corresponding temporal graphs for the three corpora we examine. On average, the increase in indeterminacy is 32%, and we show that this increase is a result of the TDT representation eliminating on average only 2.4% of total temporal relations. This result suggests that small differences can have big effects in temporal graphs, and the use of TDTs must be balanced against their deficiencies, with tasks requiring an accurate global temporal ordering potentially calling for use of the full temporal graph.

publication date

  • January 1, 2020

International Standard Book Number (ISBN) 13

start page

  • 2148

end page

  • 2156