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Software re-use and evolution in text generation applications

McKeown, Kathleen; Jing, Hongyan; Hatzivassiloglou, Vasileios; Passonneau, Rebecca; Kukich, Karen; Radev, Dragomir R.

A practical goal for natural language text generation research is to converge on a separation of functions into modules that can be independently re-used. This paper addresses issues related to software re-use and evolution in text generation systems. We describe the benefits we obtained by adapting and generalizing the generation modules and techniques we used for the successive development of three distinct text generation applications, PLANDoc, FlowDoc, and ZEDDoc. We suggest that design principles such as the use of a common, modular pipeline architecture, a consistent and general data representation format, and domain-independent algorithms for generation subtasks, together with component re-use and adaptation, facilitate both application development and research in the field. In our experience, these principles led to significant reductions in development time for successive applications, from three years to one year to six months, respectively. They also enabled us to isolate domain-specific knowledge and devise reusable, domain-independent algorithms for generation tasks such as ontological generalization and discourse structuring.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Computer Science
Publisher
ACL/EACL Workshop - From Research to Commercial Applications: Making NLP Technology Work in Practice
Published Here
April 29, 2013
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