Incorporating Zoning Information into Argument Mining from Biomedical Literature

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The goal of text zoning is to segment a text into zones (i.e., Background, Conclusion) that serve distinct functions. Argumentative zoning, a specific text zoning scheme for the scientific domain, is even considered as the antecedent for argument mining by many researchers. Surprisingly, however, little work is concerned with exploiting zoning information to improve the performance of argument mining models, despite the relatedness of the two tasks. In this paper, we propose two transformer-based models to incorporate zoning information into argumentative component identification and classification tasks. One model is for the sentence-level argument mining task and the other is for the token-level task. In particular, we add the zoning labels predicted by an off-the-shelf model to the beginning of each sentence, inspired by the convention commonly used biomedical abstracts. Moreover, we employ multi-head attention to transfer the sentence-level zoning information to each token in a sentence. Based on experiment results, we find a significant improvement in F1-scores for both sentence- and token-level tasks. It is worth mentioning that these zoning labels can be obtained with high accuracy by utilising readily available automated methods. Thus, existing argument mining models can be improved by incorporating zoning information without any additional annotation cost.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication13th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation
VolumeProceedings of the 13th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 6 Apr 2022


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