Controllable Sentence Simplification

Abstract

Text simplification aims at making a text easier to read and understand by simplifying grammar and structure while keeping the underlying information identical. It is often considered an all-purpose generic task where the same simplification is suitable for all; however multiple audiences can benefit from simplified text in different ways. We adapt a discrete parametrization mechanism that provides explicit control on simplification systems based on Sequence-to-Sequence models. As a result, users can condition the simplifications returned by a model on attributes such as length, amount of paraphrasing, lexical complexity and syntactic complexity. We also show that carefully chosen values of these attributes allow out-of-the-box Sequence-to-Sequence models to outperform their standard counterparts on simplification benchmarks. Our model, which we call ACCESS (as shorthand for AudienCe-CEntric Sentence Simplification), establishes the state of the art at 41.87 SARI on the WikiLarge test set, a +1.42 improvement over the best previously reported score.

Publication
Proceedings of the 12th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference
Louis Martin
Louis Martin
PhD Student in Artificial Intelligence

My research interests include natural language processing, language modeling and text simplification.