COHESENTIA: A Novel Benchmark of Incremental versus Holistic Assessment of Coherence in Generated Texts

Aviya Maimon, Reut Tsarfaty

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Coherence is a linguistic term that refers to the relations between small textual units (sentences, propositions), which make the text logically consistent and meaningful to the reader. With the advances of generative foundational models in NLP, there is a pressing need to automatically assess the human-perceived coherence of automatically generated texts. Up until now, little work has been done on explicitly assessing the coherence of generated texts and analyzing the factors contributing to (in)coherence. Previous work on the topic used other tasks, e.g., sentence reordering, as proxies of coherence, rather than approaching coherence detection heads on. In this paper, we introduce COHESENTIA, a novel benchmark of human-perceived coherence of automatically generated texts. Our annotation protocol reflects two perspectives; one is global, assigning a single coherence score, and the other is incremental, scoring sentence by sentence. The incremental method produces an (in)coherence score for each text fragment and also pinpoints reasons for incoherence at that point. Our benchmark contains 500 automatically-generated and human-annotated paragraphs, each annotated in both methods, by multiple raters. Our analysis shows that the inter-annotator agreement in the incremental mode is higher than in the holistic alternative, and our experiments show that standard LMs fine-tuned for coherence detection show varied performance on the different factors contributing to (in)coherence. All in all, these models yield unsatisfactory performance, emphasizing the need for developing more reliable methods for coherence assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEMNLP 2023 - 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, Proceedings
EditorsHouda Bouamor, Juan Pino, Kalika Bali
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
Pages5328-5343
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9798891760608
StatePublished - 2023
Event2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, EMNLP 2023 - Hybrid, Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 6 Dec 202310 Dec 2023

Publication series

NameEMNLP 2023 - 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, Proceedings

Conference

Conference2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, EMNLP 2023
Country/TerritorySingapore
CityHybrid, Singapore
Period6/12/2310/12/23

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Information Systems
  • Linguistics and Language

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