Language Comprehension in a Noisy Channel

Project A4

The central goal of project A4 is to examine how noise (or the effect of reduced hearing ability) will influence language comprehension, and how natural language generation systems can adapt their output to minimize the risk of misunderstanding. The experimental part of the project investigates neurophysiological correlates of bottom-up perceptual level and top-down predictive language processing, and how these functions interact when noise is added to the signal.

In the modelling part, we propose a noisy channel model, consisting of a component that models comprehension at different levels of hearing ability (based on insights from the experimental part of the project), and a generation component that optimizes the system-generated output in order to minimize the risk of misunderstanding, while also adapting the output to a target channel capacity.

Keywords: ID and channel capacity, language comprehension, aging, dual tasking, driving simulation, natural language generation, dialog systems, psycholinguistics