Generating mathematical word problems

Williams, Sandra (2011). Generating mathematical word problems. In: 2011 Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) Fall Symposium on Question Generation, 4-6 Nov 2011, Arlington, Virginia, USA, pp. 61–64.



This paper describes a prototype system that generates mathematical word problems from ontologies in unrestricted domains. It builds on an existing ontology verbaliser that renders logical statements written in Web Ontology Language (OWL) as English sentences. This kind of question is more complex than those normally attempted by question generation systems, since mathematical word problems consist of a number of sentences that communicate a short narrative (in addition to providing the relevant numerical information required to solve the underlying mathematical problem). Thus, they embody many research issues that do not crop up with single-sentence questions. As well as describing the prototype system, I discuss five ways in which the difficulty of the generated questions may be controlled automatically during generation.

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