Understanding Language Understanding

Computational Models of Reading

This book highlights cutting-edge research relevant to the building of a computational model of reading comprehension, as in the processing and understanding of a natural language text or story. A distinguishing feature of the book is its emphasis on "real" understanding of "real" narrative texts rather than on syntactic parsing of single sentences taken out of context or on limited understanding of small, researcher-constructed stories.The book takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of reading, with contributions from computer science, psychology, and philosophy. Contributors cover the theoretical and psychological foundations of the research in discussions of what it means to understand a text, how one builds a computational model, and related issues in knowledge representation and reasoning. The book also addresses some of the broader issues that a natural language system must deal with, such as reading in context, linguistic novelty, and information extraction.

Contributors: Dorrit Billman, Michael T. Cox, Eric Domeshek, Kurt Eiselt, Charles R. Fletcher, Richard Gerrig, Jennifer Holbrook, Eric Jones, Trent Lange, Mark Langston, Joe Magliano, Kavi Mahesh, Bonnie J.F. Meyer, Justin Peterson, William J. Rapaport, Ellen Riloff, Stuart C. Shapiro, Tom Trabasso, Charles M. Wharton.

Table of Contents

  1. About the Editors
  2. About the Authors
  3. Foreword

    Walter Kintsch

  4. 1. Introduction: Toward a Theory of Reading and Understanding

    Ashwin Ram and Kenneth Moorman

  5. 2. Cognition and Fiction

    William J. Rapaport and Stuart C. Shapiro

  6. 3. Sentence Processing in Understanding: Interaction and Integration of Knowledge Sources

    Kavi Mahesh, Kurt P. Eiselt and Jennifer K. Holbrook

  7. 4. Capturing the Contents of Complex Narratives

    Eric Domeshek, Eric Jones and Ashwin Ram

  8. 5. Retrieval from Episodic Memory by Inferencing and Disambiguation

    Trent E. Lange and Charles M. Wharton

  9. 6. A Connectionist Model of Narrative Comprehension

    Mark C. Langston, Tom Trabasso and Joseph P. Magliano

  10. 7. Importance of Text Structure in Everyday Reading

    Bonnie J. F. Meyer

  11. 8. A Theory of Questions and Question Asking

    Ashwin Ram

  12. 9. Semantic Correspondence Theory

    Justin Peterson and Dorrit Billman

  13. 10. Creativity in Reading: Understanding Novel Concepts

    Kenneth Moorman and Ashwin Ram

  14. 11. On the Intersection of Story Understanding and Learning

    Michael T. Cox and Ashwin Ram

  15. 12. Information Extraction as a Stepping Stone toward Story Understanding

    Ellen Riloff

  16. 13. Text Processing and Narrative Worlds

    Richard J. Gerrig

  17. 14. Computational Models of Reading and Understanding: What Good Are They?

    Charles R. Fletcher

  18. Index