Jonathan Foster


What’s the Issue Here?: Task-based Evaluation of Reader Comment Summarization Systems
Emma Barker | Monica Paramita | Adam Funk | Emina Kurtic | Ahmet Aker | Jonathan Foster | Mark Hepple | Robert Gaizauskas
Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'16)

Automatic summarization of reader comments in on-line news is an extremely challenging task and a capability for which there is a clear need. Work to date has focussed on producing extractive summaries using well-known techniques imported from other areas of language processing. But are extractive summaries of comments what users really want? Do they support users in performing the sorts of tasks they are likely to want to perform with reader comments? In this paper we address these questions by doing three things. First, we offer a specification of one possible summary type for reader comment, based on an analysis of reader comment in terms of issues and viewpoints. Second, we define a task-based evaluation framework for reader comment summarization that allows summarization systems to be assessed in terms of how well they support users in a time-limited task of identifying issues and characterising opinion on issues in comments. Third, we describe a pilot evaluation in which we used the task-based evaluation framework to evaluate a prototype reader comment clustering and summarization system, demonstrating the viability of the evaluation framework and illustrating the sorts of insight such an evaluation affords.


Simulating Cub Reporter Dialogues: The collection of naturalistic human-human dialogues for information access to text archives
Emma Barker | Ryuichiro Higashinaka | François Mairesse | Robert Gaizauskas | Marilyn Walker | Jonathan Foster
Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC’06)

This paper describes a dialogue data collection experiment and resulting corpus for dialogues between a senior mobile journalist and a junior cub reporter back at the office. The purpose of the dialogue is for the mobile journalist to collect background information in preparation for an interview or on-the-site coverage of a breaking story. The cub reporter has access to text archives that contain such background information. A unique aspect of these dialogues is that they capture information-seeking behavior for an open-ended task against a large unstructured data source. Initial analyses of the corpus show that the experimental design leads to real-time, mixedinitiative, highly interactive dialogues with many interesting properties.