Junior Research Group
"Computational Modelling of Discourse and Semantics"Funded by the Saarbrücken Cluster of Excellence on "Multimodal Computing and Interaction (MMCI)".
- Caroline Sporleder (group leader)
- Linlin Li (PhD student)
- PostDoc Researcher
SEASIDE Project (Semantic Argument Structure In DiscoursE):
A strength of human communication is that complex states of affairs can be conveyed with relative ease by a series of utterances in a discourse. To arrive at natural models of human-machine-interaction, computer systems need to be equipped with the means to process human discourse and extract meaning from it. To this end, the junior research group aims to bring together two active research areas which both deal with ``computing meaning'' but currently stand more or less independently next to each other: discourse processing and computation of semantic argument structure. While discourse processing deals with modelling the meaning of multi-sentence units, theories of semantic argument structure, such as Frame Semantics, model relations within individual sentences, namely the relation between a lexical item and its semantic arguments such as agent or patient. We aim to bridge the gap between these two research areas by enriching state-of-the art discourse processing models, which are typically fairly shallow, with the deeper linguistic information encoded in the semantic argument structure of lexical items and vice versa by giving shallow semantic parsers (semantic role labellers) access to discourse information. We hope that both areas will benefit from this: semantic argument information will allow for a more sophisticated representation of discourse meaning, which will be useful for applications such as text summarisation, information extraction, or question answering; while modelling discourse context can also benefit systems which compute semantic argument structure, for example by providing prior probabilities of a particular role being realised in a given discourse context.