Automatic Evaluation of Sentence Simplification


Text Simplification consists of rewriting sentences to make them easier to read and understand, while preserving as much as possible of their original meaning. Human editors simplify by performing several text transformations, such as replacing complex terms by simpler synonyms, reordering words or phrases, removing non-essential information, and splitting long sentences. Current models for Automatic Text Simplification are data-driven: given a large dataset of parallel original-simplified sentences, models are trained to implicitly learn how to perform a variety of editing operations that aim to make a text easier to read and understand. However, how do we verify that an automatic output is actually “simpler” than its original version? In this talk, I will present the first meta-evaluation of automatic metrics for Automatic Sentence Simplification focused on simplicity, which shows how much the correlation between metrics and human judgements is affected by factors such as the perceived simplicity of the outputs, the system type, and the set of references used for computation.

Mar 16, 2022 12:00
Queen Mary University of London (online)
Fernando Alva-Manchego
Fernando Alva-Manchego

My research interests include text simplification, readability assessment, evaluation of natural language generation, and writing assistance.