David Howcroft

Research Associate
My research centers around automatic text simplification, the process of rewriting a text to be more accessible to a wider audience. In order to do this, I am interested in our understanding of text difficulty in terms of human comprehension. Recently I've been working to incorporate cognitively-motivated metrics like surprisal, dependency length, and embedding depth into a sentence ranker which will score sentences for their difficulty. In the near future I hope to develop a controlled textbase and a variety of natural ways of expressing the propositions in that textbase, so that I can collect comprehension and reading time information to refine this ranking approach to simplification.