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LINGUIST List 19.1824

Sat Jun 07 2008

Qs: Representing Numerical Expressions

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        1.    Sandra Williams, Representing Numerical Expressions


Message 1: Representing Numerical Expressions
Date: 06-Jun-2008
From: Sandra Williams <s.h.williamsopen.ac.uk>
Subject: Representing Numerical Expressions
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Knowledge Representations for Numerical Data in Generation and Information
Extraction

I am currently working on generating numerical expressions in English,
especially on producing variations in proportions (decimals, fractions,
percentages, etc.). I am collecting a corpus of sets of newspaper and
magazine articles that report on the same underlying numerical data (for
instance, a dozen articles about the recent study on the decrease in the
puffin population on the Isle of May in Scotland). I am investigating how
different authors vary when expressing the same underlying numerical
information, e.g. 'The puffin population off Scotland's East coast has
dropped by nearly a third in less than five years'. If anyone knows of
similar research on numerical expressions, I would be grateful to hear of
it (I am aware of Veronique Moriceau's work on generating numerical answers
in a question-answering system).

My main question, however, concerns knowledge representations for basic
numerical data, such as would be necessary for Information Extraction or
Natural Language Generation. Does anyone know of research on representing
proportions, e.g. as the cardinality of two sets of entities and their
related time and space information, as in the above sentence? - presumably
one set of puffins at time T1, located off the East coast of Scotland and
another set, at time T2 (less than 5 years after T1) located in the same
place and with the ratio of the cardinalities of the two sets approximately
equal to 3 to 2.

If you know of Information Extraction systems, NLG systems, ontologies, or
linguistic studies that would be relevant to my research, please do let me
know.

Thank you for your help. I will post a summary of answers.

Linguistic Field(s): Computational Linguistics
                            Psycholinguistics
                            Semantics
                            Text/Corpus Linguistics

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