Opinion Piece: Can we Fix the Scope for Coreference?
Problems and Solutions for Benchmarks beyond OntoNotes
Keywords:coreference, annotation, guidelines, anaphora, referring expressions, predication, scope, multilingual, OntoNotes
Current work on automatic coreference resolution has focused on the OntoNotes benchmark dataset, due to both its size and consistency. However many aspects of the OntoNotes annotation scheme are not well understood by NLP practitioners, including the treatment of generic NPs, noun modifiers, indefinite anaphora, predication and more. These often lead to counterintuitive claims, results and system behaviors. This opinion piece aims to highlight some of the problems with the OntoNotes rendition of coreference, and to propose a way forward relying on three principles: 1. a focus on semantics, not morphosyntax; 2. cross-linguistic generalizability; and 3. a separation of identity and scope, which can resolve old problems involving temporal and modal domain consistency.