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26 August 2010

Reformulating Discourse Connectives for Non-Expert Readers

Location: Meeting Room 10, 2nd Floor, JLB
Time: 13:00pm - 14:30pm
Speaker(s): Dr Advaith Siddharthan - University of Aberdeen

There is much current interest in summarising the content of scientific papers. The focus has been on identifying important content; for example, through discourse mark up or citation analysis. The summary is then constructed through sentence extraction. These summaries are intended for scientists - how does one go about summarising science for a lay audience? In addition to content determination, can we make technical writing more accessible to lay readers through automatic manipulation of form? Focusing on the discourse relation of causation, I report a behavioural experiment documenting that different lexico-syntactic formulations are deemed more or less acceptable by different categories of readers. These reader preferences can then be learnt using supervised learning. I also present a framework for performing complex lexico-syntactic reformulations using transfer rules on a typed dependency representation. I argue that this framework is general enough to handle a wide range of text simplification operations. Bio: Dr Siddharthan is a Lecturer in Computing Science at the University of Aberdeen. He obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge in 2003. Since then he has been a postdoc at Columbia University and the University of Cambridge before moving to Aberdeen last year.


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Contact: mailto:r.power@open.ac.uk