Paper: Character-based kernels for novelistic plot structure

ACL ID E12-1065
Title Character-based kernels for novelistic plot structure
Venue Annual Meeting of The European Chapter of The Association of Computational Linguistics
Session Main Conference
Year 2012

Better representations of plot structure could greatly improve computational meth- ods for summarizing and generating sto- ries. Current representations lack abstrac- tion, focusing too closely on events. We present a kernel for comparing novelistic plots at a higher level, in terms of the cast of characters they depict and the so- cial relationships between them. Our kernel compares the characters of different nov- els to one another by measuring their fre- quency of occurrence over time and the descriptive and emotional language associ- ated with them. Given a corpus of 19th- century novels as training data, our method can accurately distinguish held-out novels in their original form from artificially dis- ordered or reversed surrogates, demonstrat- ing its ability to robustly represent ...