Out in the Open: Finding and Categorising Errors in the Lexical Simplification Pipeline

Matthew Shardlow


Abstract
Lexical simplification is the task of automatically reducing the complexity of a text by identifying difficult words and replacing them with simpler alternatives. Whilst this is a valuable application of natural language generation, rudimentary lexical simplification systems suffer from a high error rate which often results in nonsensical, non-simple text. This paper seeks to characterise and quantify the errors which occur in a typical baseline lexical simplification system. We expose 6 distinct categories of error and propose a classification scheme for these. We also quantify these errors for a moderate size corpus, showing the magnitude of each error type. We find that for 183 identified simplification instances, only 19 (10.38%) result in a valid simplification, with the rest causing errors of varying gravity.
Anthology ID:
L14-1403
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:
1583–1590
Language:
URL:
http://www.lrec-conf.org/proceedings/lrec2014/pdf/479_Paper.pdf
DOI:
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PDF:
http://www.lrec-conf.org/proceedings/lrec2014/pdf/479_Paper.pdf