Natural Language Generation
This course provides an introduction to the theory and practice of
computational approaches to natural language generation. The course
covers common approaches to content selection and organization,
sentence planning, and realisation. It includes both symbolic
approaches to generation, as well as more recent statistical and
trainable techniques. It also aims to provide an understanding of
evaluation methods used in this field, an understanding of key aspects
of human language production, exposure to techniques and tools used to
develop practical systems that can communicate with users, and insight
into open research problems in applications of natural language
generation, e.g., summarization, paraphrase, dialogue, multimodal
Course descriptors are here:
No tutorials are planned for this course, but there will be
occasional lab sessions.
Prof. Johanna D. Moore
4:10-5:00 Tuesday and Friday: Lecture Theatre 3,
7 Bristo Square
- 70% of the mark is allocated to the final examination.
- 30% of the mark is allocated to the programming
Handout Fri 8 Feb. Due Thurs 28 Feb 16:00 (40% of overall coursework grade)
Handout Fri 1 March. Due Thurs 28 Mar 16:00 (60% of overall coursework grade)
Ehud Reiter and Robert Dale, Building
Natural Language Generation Systems, Cambridge University
Other useful sources of information and reading:
- Week 1: Reiter & Dale Chap. 1
- Week 2: Mark Steedman, A Very Short Introduction to
Combinatory Categorial Grammar (CCG)
- Week 3: Michael White. 2006.
Efficient Realization of Coordinate Structures in Combinatory Categorial
Grammar.Research on Language and Computation, 4(1):39-75.
- Week 4: Knott, A., Oberlander, J., O'Donnell, M. and
Mellish, C. (2001) Beyond elaboration: the interaction of relations
and focus in coherent text. In T. Sanders, J. Schilperoord and
W. Spooren (eds.) Text representation: linguistic and
psycholinguistic aspects, pp181-196. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Reiter and Dale: Sections 4.1-4.3.
- Week 5:
Reiter and Dale: Sections 4.3-4.4.
- Kathleen R. McKeown,
Discourse Strategies for Generating Natural-Language Text,
Artificial Intelligence 27: 1-41, 1985.
- Week 6: Marilyn Walker, S. Whittaker, A. Stent, P. Maloor, J. Moore,
M. Johnston, G. Vasireddy. Generation
and Evaluation of User Tailored Responses in Multimodal Dialogue,
Cognitive Science, 28: 811-840, 2004.
- Week 7: R. Dale and E. Reiter,
Computational Interpretations of the Gricean Maxims in the
Generation of Referring Expressions
Cognitive Science 19:233-263, 1995.
Reiter and Dale: Chapter 5.
- Week 8: Marilyn Walker, Amanda Stent, Francois Mairesse,
Rashmi Prasad Individual and
Domain Adaptation in Sentence Planning for Dialogue.
Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, 30: 413-456, 2007.
- Week 9: E. Reiter and
A. Belz. An
Investigation into the Validity of Some Metrics for Automatically
Evaluating Natural Language Generation Systems Computational
Linguistics 35: 529-558, 2009.
- Mark McConville. Beginner's
Guide to OpenCCG
- Mark Steedman and Jason Baldridge. Combinatory Categorial
Grammar. In Robert Borsley and Kersti Borjars (eds.)
Constraint-based approaches to grammar: alternatives to
transformational syntax. Oxford: Blackwell.
- Martin Kay,
Proceedings of the Thirty-Fourth Annual Meeting of the Association
for Computational Linguistics, 200--204, 1996.
- J. D. Moore and M. E. Pollack, A Problem for
RST: The Need for Multi-Level Discourse Analysis , Computational
Linguistics , 18(4):537-544, 1992.
- Regina Barzilay and Mirella Lapata,
Modeling Local Coherence: An Entity-Based Approach, Proceedings of
the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational
Linguistics, 141-148, 2005.
- 15 Jan
- 18 Jan
Introduction to NLG (Moore)
- 22 Jan
Hybrid Logic Dependency
- 25 Jan
Introduction to CCG (Moore)
- 29 Jan
Appleton Tower 5.05
- 1 Feb
with OpenCCG (Moore)
- 5 Feb
Human language production
- 8 Feb
- Discourse Coherence
- 12 Feb
Discourse Coherence Cont'd (Moore)
- 15 Feb
Content Planning 1 (Moore)
- 19 Feb
Innovative Learning Week. No Class.
- 22 Feb
Innovative Learning Week. No Class.
- 26 Feb
- Content Planning 1
- 1 Mar
- No Class
- 5 Mar
Content Planning 2 (Moore)
- 8 Mar
Sentence Planning 1: Lexical Choice (Moore)
- 12 Mar
Sentence Planning 2: Aggregation (Moore)
- 15 Mar
Sentence Planning 3: Referring Expression Generation (Moore)
- 19 Mar
Statistical Generation 1: Overgeneration and Ranking (Moore)
- 22 Mar
Statistical Generation 2: Trainable Sentence Planning (Moore)
- 26 Mar
Statistical Generation 3 (Moore)
- 29 Mar
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