Enhancing Few-shot NER with Prompt Ordering based Data Augmentation

by   Huiming Wang, et al.

Recently, data augmentation (DA) methods have been proven to be effective for pre-trained language models (PLMs) in low-resource settings, including few-shot named entity recognition (NER). However, conventional NER DA methods are mostly aimed at sequence labeling models, i.e., token-level classification, and few are compatible with unified autoregressive generation frameworks, which can handle a wider range of NER tasks, such as nested NER. Furthermore, these generation frameworks have a strong assumption that the entities will appear in the target sequence with the same left-to-right order as the source sequence. In this paper, we claim that there is no need to keep this strict order, and more diversified but reasonable target entity sequences can be provided during the training stage as a novel DA method. Nevertheless, a naive mixture of augmented data can confuse the model since one source sequence will then be paired with different target sequences. Therefore, we propose a simple but effective Prompt Ordering based Data Augmentation (PODA) method to improve the training of unified autoregressive generation frameworks under few-shot NER scenarios. Experimental results on three public NER datasets and further analyses demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach.


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