Invited Speaker

Robert Dale, Macquarie University.

Referring Expression Generation -- Is it Getting Easier?

Abstract: The generation of referring expressions is a key subtask in natural language generation: every generation system has to talk about things, and to do this it needs to decide how to refer to these things. Referring expression generation is thus a content determination task: the speaker has to decide what information is needed to enable the hearer to identify the speaker's intended referent. The last thirty years have seen a steadily growing body of work in this area, focussed on the development of precise algorithms that encompass a wide range of referential phenomena. Interestingly, as the work has developed, the solutions that have been proposed have, at least in some senses, become simpler over time. In this talk, I'll review how this perhaps surprising development has unfolded, given an assessment of where the field is now, and look to what we can expect in the future.

Robert DaleProfessor Robert Dale is author or editor of seven books and 120 papers in various aspects of natural language processing. His current research interests include low-cost approaches to intelligent text processing tasks; practical natural language generation; the engineering of habitable spoken language dialog systems; and computational, philosophical and linguistic issues in reference and anaphora. He is editor of Computational Linguistics, the field's most prestigious journal, and has been Program Chair for conferences of both the Association for Computational Linguistics and the International Conference on Spoken Language Processing, the two premier events in the field; he was the Local Organising Committee Chair for the Coling/ACL 2006 conference, held in Sydney.

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