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Performing syntactic aggregation using discourse structures

Hielkema, F. (2005) Performing syntactic aggregation using discourse structures. Doctoral, Artificial Intelligence.

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This thesis describes an effort to create an NLG-system capable of syntactic aggregation. The NLG-system is part of a Java based story generation system, capable of producing and narrating fairy tales. This thesis focuses on one of the components of the NLG-systems, a Surface Realizer capable of performing syntactic aggregation, and producing varied and concise sentences because of it. To enable the Surface Realizer to use different cue words when combining two separate clauses, and to choose only appropriate cue words, discourse structures were used to denote connections between clauses, and a cue word taxonomy has been constructed. The Rhetorical Relation between two clauses determines which cue words can be used to aggregate the two clauses, and the selected cue word determines the structure of the generated sentence. Repetitive parts are removed if allowed by syntactic and semantic constraints, resulting in ellipsis. The result of these two processes is that two clauses, with the same relation between them, can sometimes be realized in as much as five different surface forms, each more concise than the original clauses. This project expands on earlier work by Faas (2002) and Rensen (2004), who created the Virtual Storyteller, a multi agent NLG-system. The addition of a Surface Realizer, one capable of syntactic aggregation, ensures greater variety in the generated text. However, much work remains to be done, not in the least in implementing two other modules in the Narrator, the Content and the Clause Planner.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Degree programme: Artificial Intelligence
Thesis type: Doctoral
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:28
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:28

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