Beyond Rule-based Named Entity Recognition and Relation Extraction for Process Model Generation from Natural Language Text

by   Julian Neuberger, et al.

Automated generation of business process models from natural language text is an emerging methodology for avoiding the manual creation of formal business process models. For this purpose, process entities like actors, activities, objects etc., and relations among them are extracted from textual process descriptions. A high-quality annotated corpus of textual process descriptions (PET) has been published accompanied with a basic process extraction approach. In its current state, however, PET lacks information about whether two mentions refer to the same or different process entities, which corresponds to the crucial decision of whether to create one or two modeling elements in the target model. Consequently, it is ambiguous whether, for instance, two mentions of data processing mean processing of different, or the same data. In this paper, we extend the PET dataset by clustering mentions of process entities and by proposing a new baseline technique for process extraction equipped with an additional entity resolution component. In a second step, we replace the rule-based relation extraction component with a machine learning-based alternative, enabling rapid adaption to different datasets and domains. In addition, we evaluate a deep learning-approach built for solving entity and relation extraction as well as entity resolution in a holistic manner. Finally, our extensive evaluation of the original PET baseline against our own implementation shows that a pure machine learning-based process extraction technique is competitive, while avoiding the massive overhead arising from feature engineering and rule definition needed to adapt to other datasets, different entity and relation types, or new domains.


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