Measuring Readability of Polish Texts: Baseline Experiments

Bartosz Broda, Bartłomiej Nitoń, Włodzimierz Gruszczyński, Maciej Ogrodniczuk


Abstract
Measuring readability of a text is the first sensible step to its simplification. In this paper we present an overview of the most common approaches to automatic measuring of readability. Of the described ones, we implemented and evaluated: Gunning FOG index, Flesch-based Pisarek method. We also present two other approaches. The first one is based on measuring distributional lexical similarity of a target text and comparing it to reference texts. In the second one, we propose a novel method for automation of Taylor test ― which, in its base form, requires performing a large amount of surveys. The automation of Taylor test is performed using a technique called statistical language modelling. We have developed a free on-line web-based system and constructed plugins for the most common text editors, namely Microsoft Word and OpenOffice.org. Inner workings of the system are described in detail. Finally, extensive evaluations are performed for Polish ― a Slavic, highly inflected language. We show that Pisarek’s method is highly correlated to Gunning FOG Index, even if different in form, and that both the similarity-based approach and automated Taylor test achieve high accuracy. Merits of using either of them are discussed.
Anthology ID:
L14-1366
Volume:
Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'14)
Month:
May
Year:
2014
Address:
Reykjavik, Iceland
Venue:
LREC
SIG:
Publisher:
European Language Resources Association (ELRA)
Note:
Pages:
573–580
Language:
URL:
http://www.lrec-conf.org/proceedings/lrec2014/pdf/427_Paper.pdf
DOI:
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PDF:
http://www.lrec-conf.org/proceedings/lrec2014/pdf/427_Paper.pdf