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Title: Language technologies applied to document simplification for helping autistic people
Authors: Barbu, Eduard
Martín Valdivia, M. Teresa
Martínez Cámara, Eugenio
Ureña López, L. Alfonso
Abstract: People affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have impairments in social interaction because they lack an adequate theory of mind. A significant percentile has inadequate reading comprehension skills. We present a multilingual tool called Open Book (OB) that applies Human Language Technologies (HLT) in order to identify reading comprehension obstacles in text documents and propose more simple alternatives with the aim of assisting the reading comprehension of users. OB involves several text transformations at lexical, syntactic and semantic level. In this paper we focus on three challenging components of the OB tool: the image retrieval component, the idiom detection component and the summarization module. There are very few studies that involve simplification by showing images associated to difficult concepts. In addition, the treatment of figurative language such as idioms or metaphors is one of the most challenging areas in Natural Language Processing (NLP). Finally, although text summarization is a more widely studied field in NLP, its application to text simplification remains as an open research issue. Thus, we focus on the integration of these three modules in our OB tool. We present the motivation for building these components and we describe how they are integrated in the whole system. Moreover, the usability and the usefulness of OB have been evaluated and analysed showing that the tool helps to produce texts easier to understand for autistic people.
Keywords: Text simplification
Natural Language Processing
Text Summarization
Topic Models
Issue Date: 15-Jul-2015
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Barbu, E., Martín-Valdivia, M. T., Martinez-Camara, E., & Urena-López, L. A. (2015). Language technologies applied to document simplification for helping autistic people. Expert Systems with Applications, 42(12), 5076-5086.
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