Recent Advances in Automatic Readability Assessment and Text Simplification
  • ISSN 0019-0829
  • E-ISSN: 1783-1490
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Are rounded numbers easier to understand than exact numbers? Information in newspapers often takes the form of numerical expressions which pose comprehension problems for many people, including people with disabilities, low literacy levels or lack of access to advanced technology. The purpose of this paper is to motivate and describe a rule-based lexical component that simplifies numerical expressions in Spanish texts. We propose a simplification approach that makes news articles more accessible to readers with specials needs by rewriting difficult numerical expressions in a simpler way. We carried out a study that identifies powerful simplification strategies to simplify numerical information in a text by analysing a parallel corpus of original texts and their manual simplifications. The study is complemented with an analysis of simplifications obtained in response to a questionnaire where subjects were asked to produce simplifications of numerical expressions in context. Finally, we implemented and evaluated a simplification system that mimics the simplification strategies that were found to be effective.


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