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EVALUATION OF REPORT SUMMARIES: QUANTITATIVE RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT CORP SANTA MONICA CALIF
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Two types of human-produced report summaries were compared. One type, designated term-diagram format, consisted of a spatial arrangement of subjects and objects with appropriate modifiers interconnected by verb phrases. The other type, designated natural language format, consisted of statements having the usual sentence structure. The results include the following 1 subjects required longer times about eight percent when using the term-diagram format in the preparation of summaries 2 although the term-diagram format is a more efficient vehicle for conveying information, subjects in a real-time situation did not convey more information using this type 3 when using term-diagram summaries, to answer information requests, Decision Makers supplied a significantly greater proportion of correct replies and 4 when interviewed after the experiment, nearly all subjects expressed preference for the term-diagram format. The results are interpreted to mean that a format involving structural changes in sentence organization is a procedure which humans can use effectively in producing report summaries. As an output to information users, such a format is superior to natural language format. Author
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