Depending on VR : Rule-based Text Simplification Based on Dependency Relations

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Institutionen för datavetenskap

Abstract: The amount of text that is written and made available increases all the time. However, it is not readily accessible to everyone. The goal of the research presented in this thesis was to develop a system for automatic text simplification based on dependency relations, develop a set of simplification rules for the system, and evaluate the performance of the system. The system was built on a previous tool and developments were made to ensure the that the system could perform the operations necessary for the rules included in the rule set. The rule set was developed by manual adaption of the rules to a set of training texts. The evaluation method used was a classification task with both objective measures (precision and recall) and a subjective measure (correctness). The performance of the system was compared to that of a system based on constituency relations. The results showed that the current system scored higher on both precision (96% compared to 82%) and recall (86% compared to 53%), indicating that the syntactic information dependency relations provide is sufficient to perform text simplification. Further evaluation should account for how helpful the text simplification produced by the current system is for target readers.

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