Holistic Evaluation of Automatic TimeML Annotators Conference

Ocal, M, Perez, A, Radas, A et al. (2022). Holistic Evaluation of Automatic TimeML Annotators . 1444-1453.

cited authors

  • Ocal, M; Perez, A; Radas, A; Finlayson, MA



  • TimeML is a scheme for representing temporal information (times, events, & temporal relations) in texts. Although automatic TimeML annotation is challenging, there has been notable progress, with F1s of 0.8-0.9 for events and time detection subtasks, and F1s of 0.5-0.7 for relation extraction. Individually, these subtask results are reasonable, even good, but when combined to generate a full TimeML graph, is overall performance still acceptable? We present a novel suite of eight metrics, combined with a new graph-transformation experimental design, for holistic evaluation of TimeML graphs. We apply these metrics to four automatic TimeML annotation systems (CAEVO, TARSQI, CATENA, and CLEARTK). We show that on average 1/3 of the TimeML graphs produced using these systems are inconsistent, and there is on average 1/5 more temporal indeterminacy than the gold-standard. We also show that the automatically generated graphs are on average 109 edits from the gold-standard, which is 1/3 toward complete replacement. Finally, we show that the relationship individual subtask performance and graph quality is non-linear: small errors in TimeML subtasks result in rapid degradation of final graph quality. These results suggest current automatic TimeML annotators are far from optimal and significant further improvement would be useful.

publication date

  • January 1, 2022

International Standard Book Number (ISBN) 13

start page

  • 1444

end page

  • 1453