Sidney Evaldo Leal

Also published as: Sidney Evaldo Leal


Using Eye-tracking Data to Predict the Readability of Brazilian Portuguese Sentences in Single-task, Multi-task and Sequential Transfer Learning Approaches
Sidney Evaldo Leal | João Marcos Munguba Vieira | Erica dos Santos Rodrigues | Elisângela Nogueira Teixeira | Sandra Aluísio
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Sentence complexity assessment is a relatively new task in Natural Language Processing. One of its aims is to highlight in a text which sentences are more complex to support the simplification of contents for a target audience (e.g., children, cognitively impaired users, non-native speakers and low-literacy readers (Scarton and Specia, 2018)). This task is evaluated using datasets of pairs of aligned sentences including the complex and simple version of the same sentence. For Brazilian Portuguese, the task was addressed by (Leal et al., 2018), who set up the first dataset to evaluate the task in this language, reaching 87.8% of accuracy with linguistic features. The present work advances these results, using models inspired by (Gonzalez-Garduño and Søgaard, 2018), which hold the state-of-the-art for the English language, with multi-task learning and eye-tracking measures. First-Pass Duration, Total Regression Duration and Total Fixation Duration were used in two moments; first to select a subset of linguistic features and then as an auxiliary task in the multi-task and sequential learning models. The best model proposed here reaches the new state-of-the-art for Portuguese with 97.5% accuracy 1 , an increase of almost 10 points compared to the best previous results, in addition to proposing improvements in the public dataset after analysing the errors of our best model.


A Nontrivial Sentence Corpus for the Task of Sentence Readability Assessment in Portuguese
Sidney Evaldo Leal | Magali Sanches Duran | Sandra Maria Aluísio
Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Effective textual communication depends on readers being proficient enough to comprehend texts, and texts being clear enough to be understood by the intended audience, in a reading task. When the meaning of textual information and instructions is not well conveyed, many losses and damages may occur. Among the solutions to alleviate this problem is the automatic evaluation of sentence readability, task which has been receiving a lot of attention due to its large applicability. However, a shortage of resources, such as corpora for training and evaluation, hinders the full development of this task. In this paper, we generate a nontrivial sentence corpus in Portuguese. We evaluate three scenarios for building it, taking advantage of a parallel corpus of simplification, in which each sentence triplet is aligned and has simplification operations annotated, being ideal for justifying possible mistakes of future methods. The best scenario of our corpus PorSimplesSent is composed of 4,888 pairs, which is bigger than a similar corpus for English; all the three versions of it are publicly available. We created four baselines for PorSimplesSent and made available a pairwise ranking method, using 17 linguistic and psycholinguistic features, which correctly identifies the ranking of sentence pairs with an accuracy of 74.2%.