Using Concept Maps as a Tool for Cross-Language Relevance Determination

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Student
Richardson, W. Ryan
Degree
PHD
Defense date
2007-06-06
Department
Computer Science
Commitee
Fox, Edward A., Chair
Cline, Benjamin E., Member
Perez-Quinones, Manuel A., Member
Ramakrishnan, Naren, Member
Tegarden, David P., Member
Abstract
Concept maps, introduced by Novak, aid learners’ understanding. I hypothesize that concept maps also can function as a summary of large documents, e.g., electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs). I have built a system that automatically generates concept maps from English-language ETDs in the computing field. The system also will provide Spanish translations of these concept maps for native Spanish speakers. Using machine translation techniques, my approach leads to concept maps that could allow researchers to discover pertinent dissertations in languages they cannot read, helping them to decide if they want a potentially relevant dissertation translated. I am using a state-of-the-art natural language processing system, called Relex, to extract noun phrases and noun-verb-noun relations from ETDs, and then produce concept maps automatically. I also have incorporated information from the table of contents of ETDs to create novel styles of concept maps. I have conducted five user studies, to evaluate user perceptions about these different map styles. I am using several methods to translate node and link text in concept maps from English to Spanish. Nodes labeled with single words from a given technical area can be translated using wordlists, but phrases in specific technical fields can be difficult to translate. Thus I have amassed a collection of about 580 Spanish-language ETDs from Scirus and two Mexican universities and I am using this corpus to mine phrase translations that I could not find otherwise. The usefulness of the automatically-generated and translated concept maps has been assessed in an experiment at Universidad de las Americas (UDLA) in Puebla, Mexico. This experiment demonstrated that concept maps can augment abstracts (translated using a standard machine translation package) in helping Spanish speaking users find ETDs of interest.
ETD Page
http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-07022007-184525/

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