Demberg, Vera; Hoffmann, Jörg; Howcroft, David M.; Klakow, Dietrich; Torralba, Álvaro

Search Challenges in Natural Language Generation with Complex Optimization Objectives

KI - Künstliche Intelligenz, Special Issue on Companion Technologies, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2015, ISSN 1610-1987.

Automatic natural language generation (NLG) is a difficult problem already when merely trying to come up with natural-sounding utterances. Ubiquituous applications, in particular companion technologies, pose the additional challenge of flexible adaptation to a user or a situation. This requires optimizing complex objectives such as information density, in combinatorial search spaces described using declarative input languages. We believe that AI search and planning is a natural match for these problems, and could substantially contribute to solving them effectively. We illustrate this using a concrete example NLG framework, give a summary of the relevant optimization objectives, and provide an initial list of research challenges.