6.892: Computational Models of Discourse

Gilbert Street
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Instructor: Regina Barzilay, G468 Stata Center
Office Hours: Wednesdays 2-3:30, or by appointment
Time & Location: MW 10-11:30am, 4-265

The syllabus is still subject to change.

Date Topic Reading
2/4 Introduction
[slides] [pdf]
  • Barbara J. Grosz, Martha E. Pollack, and Candace L. Sidner. Discourse. In M. L. Posner, editor, Foundations of Cognitive Science, pp. 437-467. The MIT Press, 1989.
  • Bonnie L. Webber. Computational Perspectives on Discourse and Dialog. In D. Schiffrin, D. Tannen and H. E. Hamilton, editors, The Handbook of Discourse Analysis, pp. 798-817. Blackwell Publishing, 2001.
  • Johanna D. Moore & Peter Wiemer-Hastings. Discourse in Computational Linguistics and Artificial Intelligence. In A. G. Graesser, M. A. Gernbacher and S. R. Goldman, editors, Handbook of Discourse Processes, pp. 439-487. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers, 2003.
  • Walter Kintsch. The representation of meaning in memory. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  • S.E. Haviland and H. H. Clark. What's new? Acquiring new information as a process in comprehension. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 13, pp. 515-521, 1974.
  • Terry Winograd, SHRDLU.
2/9 Topic Segmentation: Agreement, Evaluation, automatic text segmentation
[slides] [pdf]
2/11 Topic Segmentation (cont.): Hierarchical Text Segmentation, Meeting Segmentation
[slides] [pdf]
2/17 Cohesion and Local Coherence: Lexical Chains, Centering Theory; Applications to Automated Essay Scoring
[slides] [pdf]
2/18 Automatic Reference Resolution
[slides] [pdf]
2/23 Automatic Reference Resolution and Reference Generation
[slides] [pdf]
3/25 Generation of Referring Expressions
[slides] [pdf]
3/1 Domain-dependent Models of Text Structure
[slides] [pdf]
3/3 Rhetorical Structure Theory (guest speaker Florian Wolf)
First part of the project due
[slides] [pdf]
3/8 Discourse Structure in Text Summarization; Alignment
[slides] [pdf]
3/10 Temporal Ordering in Discourse
[slides] [pdf]
  • H. Reichnbach The Elements of Symbolic Logic The Free Press, New York, NY, 1947
  • Bonnie L. Webber Tense as discourse anaphor Computational Linguistics, 14(2), 1988
  • Alex Lascarides and Nicholas Asher Temporal Interpretation, Discourse Relations and Commonsense Entailment Linguistics and Philosophy, 16(5), 1993
  • Inderjeet Mani and George Wilson Robust Temporal Processing of the News Proceedings of the ACL, 2003
  • Inderjeet Mani, Barry Schiffman and Jianping Zhang Inferring Temporal ordering of the Events in News Proceedings of the HLT-NAACL, 2003
  • Mirella Lapata and Alex Lascaridis Inferring Sentence Internal Temporal Information Proceedings of the HLT-NAACL, 2004
3/17 Prosody and Discourse
Guest Speaker: Chao Wang
3/29 Intentions and the Structure of Discourse
[slides] [pdf]
3/31 Studies of Dialogues; Taxonomy of Speech Acts
[slides] [pdf]
  • S. Levinson Pragmatics Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1983
  • H. Sacks, E. Schegloff and G. Jefferson A simplest systematics for the organization of turn-taking for conversation Language, 50(4), 696-735
  • Julia Hirschberg and Diane Litman Empirical studies on the disambiguation of cue phrases Computational Linguistics, 19(3), 501-530
  • H. P. Grice Further Notes on Logic and conversation In P. Cole (Editor), Speech Acts: Syntax and Semantics Volume 9, pp. 113-127, 1978
  • J. L. Austin How to do Things with Words Harvard University Press, 1962
  • J. Allen and M. Cofe Draft of DAMSL: Dialog Act Markup in Several Layers
  • J. R. Searle Expression and Meaning: Studies in the theory of Speech Acts Cambridge University Press, 1979
4/5 Automatic Interpretation of Dialogue Acts
[slides] [pdf]
4/7 Learning Dialogue Strategies via Reinforcement Learning
[slides] [pdf]
4/12 MIT Dialogue Systems
Second part of the project due
4/14 Dialogue Systems
[slides] [pdf]
4/21 Plan Recognition
[slides] [pdf]
  • N. Lesh, C. Rich and C. L. Sidner Using Plan Recognition in Human-Computer Collaboration Merl Technical Report, 1998
  • R. Goldman, C. W. Geib and C. A. Miller A New Model of Plan Recognition Proceedings of UAI, 1999
  • E. Charniak and R.P. Goldman A Bayesian model of plan recognition Artificial Intelligence, 64(1):53-79, 1993
  • M. Vilain Getting serious about parsing plans: A grammatical analysis of plan recognition Proceedings of AAAI, 190-197, 1990
  • H. Kautz and J. Allen Generalized plan recognition Proceedings of AAAI, 32-38, 1986
4/26 Evaluation for Discourse Processing  
4/28 Discourse in Psycholinguistics  
5/5 TBA
Last part of the project due
5/10 Project Presentations  
5/12 Project Presentations