Context-Aware Attentive Multilevel Feature Fusion for Named Entity Recognition

Zhiwei Yang, Jing Ma, Hechang Chen*, Jiawei Zhang, Yi Chang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


In the era of information explosion, named entity recognition (NER) has attracted widespread attention in the field of natural language processing, as it is fundamental to information extraction. Recently, methods of NER based on representation learning, e.g., character embedding and word embedding, have demonstrated promising recognition results. However, existing models only consider partial features derived from words or characters while failing to integrate semantic and syntactic information, e.g., capitalization, inter-word relations, keywords, and lexical phrases, from multilevel perspectives. Intuitively, multilevel features can be helpful when recognizing named entities from complex sentences. In this study, we propose a novel attentive multilevel feature fusion (AMFF) model for NER, which captures the multilevel features in the current context from various perspectives. It consists of four components to, respectively, capture the local character-level (CL), global character-level (CG), local word-level (WL), and global word-level (WG) features in the current context. In addition, we further define document-level features crafted from other sentences to enhance the representation learning of the current context. To this end, we introduce a novel context-aware attentive multilevel feature fusion (CAMFF) model based on AMFF, to fully leverage document-level features from all the previous inputs. The obtained multilevel features are then fused and fed into a bidirectional long short-term memory (BiLSTM)-conditional random field (CRF) network for the final sequence labeling. Extensive experiments on four benchmark datasets demonstrate that our proposed AMFF and CAMFF models outperform a set of state-of-the-art baseline methods and the features learned from multiple levels are complementary.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)973-984
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems
Issue number1
Early online date8 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Software
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Science Applications

User-Defined Keywords

  • Attention mechanism
  • multilevel feature extraction
  • named entity recognition (NER)
  • sequence labeling


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