Section: New Results
Evaluating the quality of text simplification
Participants : Louis Martin, Benoît Sagot, Éric Villemonte de La Clergerie.
In 2018, our collaboration on text simplification with the Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research lab in Paris (in particular with Antoine Bordes) has started in practice. It has taken the form of a CIFRE PhD. In this context, in 2018, we dedicated important efforts to the problem of the evaluation of text simplification (TS) systems, which remains an open challenge. As the task has common points with machine translation (MT), TS is often evaluated using MT metrics such as BLEU. However, such metrics require high quality reference data, which is rarely available for TS. TS has the advantage over MT of being a monolingual task, which allows for direct comparisons to be made between the simplified text and its original version.
We compared multiple approaches to reference-less quality estimation of sentence-level TS systems, based on the dataset used for the QATS 2016 shared task. We distinguished three different dimensions: grammaticality, meaning preservation and simplicity. We have shown that -gram-based MT metrics such as BLEU and METEOR correlate the most with human judgment of grammaticality and meaning preservation, whereas simplicity is best evaluated by basic length-based metrics .