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Generation of repeated references to discourse entities

By Anja Belz and Sebastian Varges


Generation of Referring Expressions is a thriving subfield of Natural Language Generation which has traditionally focused on the task of selecting a set of attributes that unambiguously identify a given referent. In this paper, we address the complementary problem of generating repeated, potentially different referential expressions that refer to the same entity in the context of a piece of discourse longer than a sentence. We describe a corpus of short encyclopaedic texts we have compiled and annotated for reference to the main subject of the text, and report results for our experiments in which we set human subjects and automatic methods the task of selecting a referential expression from a wide range of choices in a full-text context. We find that our human subjects agree on choice of expression to a considerable degree, with three identical expressions selected in 50% of cases. We tested automatic selection strategies based on most frequent choice heuristics, involving different combinations of information about syntactic MSR type and domain type. We find that more information generally produces better results, achieving a best overall test set accuracy of 53.9% when both syntactic MSR type and domain type are known

Topics: Q100 Linguistics
Publisher: DFKI GmbH
Year: 2007
OAI identifier:

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