User Modeling pp 119-130 | Cite as

Augmenting the User’s Knowledge via Comparison

  • Maria Milosavljevic
Part of the International Centre for Mechanical Sciences book series (CISM, volume 383)


The process of learning is an incremental exploration of a domain; we do not learn the concepts in a domain in an isolated manner, but instead augment our existing knowledge with new concepts. Consequently, when teaching a new concept to a student, her existing knowledge should be employed in a way which facilitates the process of learning. In describing a new concept to a hearer, it is often beneficial to compare the concept to other concepts with which the hearer is familiar. In particular, comparisons are often used in descriptions in order to reduce the cognitive load on the hearer. This paper outlines three types of comparison found in encyclopaedia descriptions, and describes how a model of the user’s knowledge can be employed to produce descriptions which introduce new concepts by comparison, thus grounding descriptions in the hearer’s existing knowledge. The results are illustrated in the peba-ii natural language generation system.


Natural Language Generation Discourse History Bactrian Camel Discourse Plan Chinese Alligator 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Milosavljevic
    • 1
  1. 1.Microsoft Research InstituteMacquarie UniversitySydney NSWAustralia

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