Facilitating Reading through a Theme-Driven Approach

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Title: Facilitating Reading through a Theme-Driven Approach
Author: Deng, Jie
Abstract: Readers often encounter the need to explore a document only for a specific point of interest . We call the phenomena of approaching a narrative not for its entirety , but for a thread of a particular topic , thematic reading . Present reading tools and information retrieval techniques provide only limited assistance to readers in such a situation . Our research centers on this phenomenon . We conducted investigations on both human behavior and machine automation , with a goal of better meeting the requirements of thematic reading . To observe readers ? behavior and understand their expectations , we implemented a reader ?s interface with designs targeting the predicted needs of thematic readers . We conducted user studies using both the system and Microsoft Word . We proved that thematic reading is capable of achieving the goal of understanding a specific topic , at least to a degree that succeeds in topic -wise tasks . We also reached guidelines for designing future reading platforms in major aspects such as view , navigation , and contextual awareness . As for machine automation , we investigated the potential to automatically locate thematically relevant excerpts . This investigation was inspired by the editorial compilation of a textbook index . To increase the search performance , we proposed a two -step methodology which first expands the query with expansion and then filters the intermediate results by checking the term -occurrence proximity . For query expansion , we compared the query expansion with WordNet , morphological inflections , and both processes together . Our results show that in the context of our study , WordNet made almost no contribution to the enhancement of recall , while expansion with the inflectional variants turned out to be a successful and essential scheme . For the refinement section , the results show that the proximity check on the alternative phrases formed after inflectional expansion can effectively increase the precision of the previously acquired return results . We further tested a different scheme ? using sliding window ? of defining target and verification units in the methodology . Our findings show that the structural delimitations (sentences and chapters ) outperformed sliding windows . The first scheme was able to achieve consistently desirable results , while the results from the second were inconclusive .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -2008 -12 -184
Date: 2010-01-15


Facilitating Reading through a Theme-Driven Approach. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -2008 -12 -184 .

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