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Talk by Prof. Kathleen Filliben McCoy

22 Abril 2016, 15:17 - Lucília Abreu

Theme: Generating Textual Summaries at Different Target Reading Levels: Summarizing Line Graphs for Visually Impaired Users

Speaker: Prof. Kathleen Filliben McCoy - Universidade de Delaware

When: Wednsday April 27th

Where: Room 336 Room 020, INESC-ID (Rua Alves Redol 9, Lisbon)

Hour: 11 a.m. 


People with visual impairments who are reading web documents in popular media often do not have access to the content of graphics contained in the documents. In this work, I describe a system that conveys the high-level information about a line graph (given a representation of the graphic assumed to be produced by a visual extraction module). The aim is to produce a summary that includes the information that a visual reader would get from a casual perusal of the graphic – its high-level message and salient visual features. The work involves solving natural language generation problems – choosing the content of the summary, structuring the text, and making aggregation and lexicalization decisions in order to produce English text.

In doing this work, it was noticed that on-line articles are written to target readers at different reading levels – some of the text is rather simple (geared toward 4th grade readers, for example), while other text is quite sophisticated (geared toward college-level readers, for example). We also found that text that was geared toward a reading level that did not match the reader was difficult for that reader to understand. Thus, we attempt to produce a summary whose writing sophistication matches that of the article in which the graphic appears. This talk will introduce the overall project, with emphasis on how we tailor the generated text to different reading levels through the use of aggregation and grade-appropriate lexical items. Evaluation of our methodology will be included.


Prof. Kathy McCoy is a Professor in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Delaware (Department Chair since 2015) and an active researcher in the areas of Accessible Computing, Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology. She is Editor in Chief of the ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing (TACCESS) journal. 

Information available here