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Vagueness as cost reduction: An empirical test.

Green, M. and van Deemter, K., 2011. Vagueness as cost reduction: An empirical test. In: Proceedings of `Production of Referring Expressions' workshop at 33rd Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, 20 July 2011, Boston, MA, USA.

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NLG systems that generate text from numerical data must de- cide between alternative linguistic forms of the given numeri- cal content, such as whether to use a precise or a vague expres- sion. Currently there is little empirical data for these systems to draw on when making these decisions. We performed ex- periments with human readers in which participants responded to instructions in the form of referring expressions, where we manipulated whether the instruction used a vague or a crisp referring expression, in order to test the hypothesis that vague- ness reduces processing costs for the comprehender. Results indicate that people respond more quickly and accurately to vague linguistic expressions than to crisp numerical expres- sions, but that this benefit also accrues to precise terms that avoid numbers.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords:referring expressions; empirical; vagueness; cost reduction
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:28103
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:21 Mar 2017 14:30
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:03


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