Analysing Human Strategies of Information Transmission as a Function of Discourse Context

Mario Giulianelli, Raquel Fernández


Abstract
Speakers are thought to use rational information transmission strategies for efficient communication (Genzel and Charniak, 2002; Aylett and Turk, 2004; Jaeger and Levy, 2007). Previous work analysing these strategies in sentence production has failed to take into account how the information content of sentences varies as a function of the available discourse context. In this study, we estimate sentence information content within discourse context. We find that speakers transmit information at a stable rate—i.e., rationally—in English newspaper articles but that this rate decreases in spoken open domain and written task-oriented dialogues. We also observe that speakers’ choices are not oriented towards local uniformity of information, which is another hypothesised rational strategy. We suggest that a more faithful model of communication should explicitly include production costs and goal-oriented rewards.
Anthology ID:
2021.conll-1.50
Volume:
Proceedings of the 25th Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning
Month:
November
Year:
2021
Address:
Online
Venues:
CoNLL | EMNLP
SIG:
SIGNLL
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
647–660
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/2021.conll-1.50
DOI:
Bibkey:
Copy Citation:
PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/2021.conll-1.50.pdf
Software:
 2021.conll-1.50.Software.zip
Code
 dmg-illc/uid-dialogue
Data
PhotoBook