Coherence in Language Processing: Semantics beyond the Sentence
funded by Landesgraduiertenförderung, Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung, und Kunst, Baden-Württemberg
Summary: Humans effortlessly perform the task of combining information from individual sentences in text (discourse) into an understanding of complete situations (that is, to create coherence), even though semantic relations between sentences often remain unexpressed and must be inferred from background and world knowledge. Current systems for natural language processing (NLP) deal fairly well with semantic analysis for individual sentences, but are generally unable to combine information from multiple sentences or to retrieve unexpressed information. This limits their utility in tasks where whole texts must be processed, such as machine translation or question answering. The goal of this graduate program is to extend semantic analysis to the discourse level and to approximate coherence-based interpretation.