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An evaluation of syntactic simplification rules for people with autismSyntactically complex sentences constitute an obstacle for some people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders. This paper evaluates a set of simplification rules specifically designed for tackling complex and compound sentences. In total, 127 different rules were developed for the rewriting of complex sentences and 56 for the rewriting of compound sentences. The evaluation assessed the accuracy of these rules individually and revealed that fully automatic conversion of these sentences into a more accessible form is not very reliable.
Assessing the teaching value of non-English academic books: The case of SpainThis study examines the educational value of 15,117 Spanish-language books published by Spanish publishers in social sciences and humanities fields in the period 2002-2011, based on mentions of them extracted automatically from online course syllabi. A method was developed to collect syllabus mentions and filter out false matches. Manual checks of the 52,716 syllabus mentions found estimated an accuracy of 99.5% for filtering out false mentions and 74.7% for identifying correct mentions. A fifth of the sampled books (2,849; 19%) were mentioned at least once in online syllabi and almost all (95%) were from a third of the publishers included in the study. An in-depth analysis of the 23 books recommended most often in online syllabi showed that they are mostly single-authored humanities monographs that were originally written in Spanish. The syllabus mentions originated from 379 domains, but mostly from Spanish university websites. In conclusion, it is possible to make indicators from online syllabus mentions to assess the teaching value of Spanish-language books, although manual checks are needed if the values are used for assessing individual books.
Automatic summarisation: 25 years OnAutomatic text summarisation is a topic that has been receiving attention from the research community from the early days of computational linguistics, but it really took off around 25 years ago. This article presents the main developments from the last 25 years. It starts by defining what a summary is and how its definition changed over time as a result of the interest in processing new types of documents. The article continues with a brief history of the field and highlights the main challenges posed by the evaluation of summaries. The article finishes with some thoughts about the future of the field.
Sentence simplification for semantic role labelling and information extractionIn this paper, we report on the extrinsic evaluation of an automatic sentence simplification method with respect to two NLP tasks: semantic role labelling (SRL) and information extraction (IE). The paper begins with our observation of challenges in the intrinsic evaluation of sentence simplification systems, which motivates the use of extrinsic evaluation of these systems with respect to other NLP tasks. We describe the two NLP systems and the test data used in the extrinsic evaluation, and present arguments and evidence motivating the integration of a sentence simplification step as a means of improving the accuracy of these systems. Our evaluation reveals that their performance is improved by the simplification step: the SRL system is better able to assign semantic roles to the majority of the arguments of verbs and the IE system is better able to identify fillers for all IE template slots.