An Overview of the Penman Text Generation System.
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA MARINA DEL REY INFORMATION SCIENCES INST
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The problem of programming computers to produce natural language explanations and other texts on demand is an active research area in artifical intelligence. In the past, research systems designed for this purpose have been limited by the weakness of their linguistic bases, especially their grammars, and their techniques often cannot be transferred to new knowledge domains. A new text generation system, Penman, is designed to overcome these problems and produce fluent multiparagraph text in English in response to a goal presented to the system. Penman consists of four major modules a knowledge acquisition module which can perform domain-specific searches for knowledge relevant to a given communication goal a text planning module which can organize the relevant information, decide what portion to present, and decide how to lead the readers attention and knowledge through the content a sentence generation module based on a large systemic grammar of English and an evaluation and plan-perturbation module which revises text plans based on evaluation of text produced. Development of Penman has included implementation of the largest systemic grammar of English in a single notation. A new semantic notation has been added to the systemic framework, and the semantics of nearly the entire grammar has been defined. The semantics is designed to be independent of the systems knowledge notation, so that it is usable with widely differing knowledge representtions, including both frame-based and predicate-calculus-based approaches. Author