Paper: Precision and Mathematical Form in First and Subsequent Mentions of Numerical Facts and their Relation to Document Structure

ACL ID W09-0620
Title Precision and Mathematical Form in First and Subsequent Mentions of Numerical Facts and their Relation to Document Structure
Venue European Workshop on Natural Language Generation
Session
Year 2009
Authors

In a corpus study we found that authors vary both mathematical form and preci- sion1 when expressing numerical quanti- ties. Indeed, within the same document, a quantity is often described vaguely in some places and more accurately in others. Vague descriptions tend to occur early in a document and to be expressed in simpler mathematical forms (e.g., fractions or ra- tios), whereas more accurate descriptions of the same proportions tend to occur later, often expressed in more complex forms (e.g., decimal percentages). Our results can be used in Natural Language Gener- ation (1) to generate repeat descriptions within the same document, and (2) to gen- erate descriptions of numerical quantities for different audiences according to math- ematical ability.