Emerging applications of Natural Language Generation: information visualization, and interactive systems in education and health care

Barbara Di Eugenio and Nancy Green

This chapter presents applications of NLG that are among the most novel and exciting of the last few years with a focus on applications of NLG in education and health care. Clearly, whenever information is presented to a user, the question arises regarding which modalities should be used to present that information. The chapter describes what we call second-generation multimedia presentation systems, systems that generate text that summarize information as a complement to visual displays. It is easy to envision that this type of multimedia presentation will become more and more important in deploying systems that can effectively interact with users, where effectiveness is measured in concrete outcomes of learning and improved health. One common aspect across all the applications presented in this chapter is that they have been evaluated with users. Evaluation with users distinguishes this type of research from much other research in NLP, where the evaluation is confined to testing the system on predefined test sets. Evaluating NLG systems with user studies owes much to Human Computer Interaction, which in turn owes this style of evaluation to the controlled experimental paradigm coming from cognitive psychology, and/or to the randomized clinical trial used in the health disciplines. The chapter is organized as follows. It first discusses techniques used by second-generation multimedia presentation systems. Then, it turns to NL interfaces for Intelligent Tutoring Systems, a specific type of educational application. Finally, it discusses the generation of argumentation addressed to the healthcare consumer.

Bibtex Citation

  @incollection{dieugenio-handbook10,
   author = {Barbara Di Eugenio and Nancy Green},
   title = {Emerging Applications of Natural Language Generation in Information
            Visualization, Education and Healthcare},
   booktitle = {Handbook of Natural Language Processing, Second Edition},
   editor = {Nitin Indurkhya and Fred J. Damerau},
   publisher = {CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group},
   address = {Boca Raton, FL},
   year = {2010},
   note = {ISBN 978-1420085921}
  }