Bruce W. Lee


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Pushing on Text Readability Assessment: A Transformer Meets Handcrafted Linguistic Features
Bruce W. Lee | Yoo Sung Jang | Jason Lee
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

We report two essential improvements in readability assessment: 1. three novel features in advanced semantics and 2. the timely evidence that traditional ML models (e.g. Random Forest, using handcrafted features) can combine with transformers (e.g. RoBERTa) to augment model performance. First, we explore suitable transformers and traditional ML models. Then, we extract 255 handcrafted linguistic features using self-developed extraction software. Finally, we assemble those to create several hybrid models, achieving state-of-the-art (SOTA) accuracy on popular datasets in readability assessment. The use of handcrafted features help model performance on smaller datasets. Notably, our RoBERTA-RF-T1 hybrid achieves the near-perfect classification accuracy of 99%, a 20.3% increase from the previous SOTA.


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LXPER Index 2.0: Improving Text Readability Assessment Model for L2 English Students in Korea
Bruce W. Lee | Jason Lee
Proceedings of the 6th Workshop on Natural Language Processing Techniques for Educational Applications

Developing a text readability assessment model specifically for texts in a foreign English Language Training (ELT) curriculum has never had much attention in the field of Natural Language Processing. Hence, most developed models show extremely low accuracy for L2 English texts, up to the point where not many even serve as a fair comparison. In this paper, we investigate a text readability assessment model for L2 English learners in Korea. In accordance, we improve and expand the Text Corpus of the Korean ELT curriculum (CoKEC-text). Each text is labeled with its target grade level. We train our model with CoKEC-text and significantly improve the accuracy of readability assessment for texts in the Korean ELT curriculum.