Comparing Discourse Tree Structures

  • Elena Mitocariu
  • Daniel Alexandru Anechitei
  • Dan Cristea
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7816)


The existing discourse parsing systems make use of different theories to put at the basis of processes of building discourse trees. Many of them use Recall, Precision and F-measure to compare discourse tree structures. These measures can be used only on topologically identical structures. However, there are known cases when two different tree structures of the same text can express the same discourse interpretation, or something very similar. In these cases Precision, Recall and F-measures are not so conclusive. In this paper, we propose three new scores for comparing discourse trees. These scores take into consideration more and more constraints. As basic elements of building the discourse structure we use those embraced by two discourse theories: Rhetorical Structure Theory (RST) and Veins Theory, both using binary trees augmented with nuclearity notation. We will ignore the second notation used in RST – the name of relations. The first score takes into account the coverage of inner nodes. The second score complements the first score with the nuclearity of the relation. The third score computes Precisions, Recall and F-measures on the vein expressions of the elementary discourse units. We show that these measures reveal comparable scores there where the differences in structure are not doubled by differences in interpretation.


discourse parser Rhetorical Structure Theory Veins Theory evaluation discourse tree structure 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elena Mitocariu
    • 1
  • Daniel Alexandru Anechitei
    • 1
  • Dan Cristea
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Computer Science“Al.I.Cuza” University of IasiIasiRomania
  2. 2.Institute for Computer ScienceRomanian AcademyIasiRomania

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