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Conversation Trees: A Grammar Model for Topic Structure in Forums

Louis, Annie P and Cohen, Shay B (2015) Conversation Trees: A Grammar Model for Topic Structure in Forums. In: Proceedings of the 2015 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, 7-21 Sept 2015, Lisbon.

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Online forum discussions proceed differently from face-to-face conversations and any single thread on an online forum contains posts on different subtopics. This work aims to characterize the content of a forum thread as a conversation tree of topics. We present models that jointly per- form two tasks: segment a thread into sub- parts, and assign a topic to each part. Our core idea is a definition of topic structure using probabilistic grammars. By leveraging the flexibility of two grammar formalisms, Context-Free Grammars and Linear Context-Free Rewriting Systems, our models create desirable structures for forum threads: our topic segmentation is hierarchical, links non-adjacent segments on the same topic, and jointly labels the topic during segmentation. We show that our models outperform a number of tree generation baselines.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, School of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2016 16:15
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2016 16:16

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