Experiments with discourse-level choices and readability

Williams, Sandra; Reiter, Ehud and Osman, Liesl (2003). Experiments with discourse-level choices and readability. In: Proceedings of the 9th European Workshop on Natural Language Generation (ENLG-2003), 13-14 Apr 2003, Budapest, Hungary, pp. 127–134.

URL: http://acl.ldc.upenn.edu/eacl2003/papers/workshop/...

Abstract

This paper reports on pilot experiments that are being used, together with corpus analysis, in the development of a Natural Language Generation (NLG) system, GIRL (Generator for Individual Reading Levels). GIRL generates reports for individuals after a literacy assessment.
We tested GIRL's output on adult learner readers and good readers. Our aim was to find out if choices the system makes at the discourse-level have an impact on readability. Our preliminary results indicate that such choices do indeed appear to be important for learner readers. These will be investigated further in future larger-scale experiments. Ultimately we intend to use the results to develop a mechanism that makes discourse-level choices that are appropriate for individuals' reading skills.

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