Automated story generation remains a difficult area of research because it lacks strong objective measures. Generated stories may be linguistically sound, but in many cases suffer poor narrative coherence required for a compelling, logically-sound story. To address this, we present Fabula Entropy Indexing (FEI), an evaluation method to assess story coherence by measuring the degree to which human participants agree with each other when answering true/false questions about stories. We devise two theoretically grounded measures of reader question-answering entropy, the entropy of world coherence (EWC), and the entropy of transitional coherence (ETC), focusing on global and local coherence, respectively. We evaluate these metrics by testing them on human-written stories and comparing against the same stories that have been corrupted to introduce incoherencies. We show that in these controlled studies, our entropy indices provide a reliable objective measure of story coherence.
In this paper, we propose the beginnings of a formal framework for modeling narrative qua narrative. Our framework affords the ability to discuss key qualities of stories and their communication, including the flow of information from a Narrator to a Reader, the evolution of a Reader’s story model over time, and Reader uncertainty. We demonstrate its applicability to computational narratology by giving explicit algorithms for measuring the accuracy with which information was conveyed to the Reader, along with two novel measurements of story coherence.