An Empirical Approach for Modeling Fuzzy Geographical Descriptors

Alejandro Ramos-Soto, Jose M. Alonso, Ehud Reiter, Kees van Deemter, Albert Gatt

We present a novel heuristic approach that defines fuzzy geographical descriptors using data gathered from a survey with human subjects. The participants were asked to provide graphical interpretations of the descriptors `north' and `south' for the Galician region (Spain). Based on these interpretations, our approach builds fuzzy descriptors that are able to compute membership degrees for geographical locations. We evaluated our approach in terms of efficiency and precision. The fuzzy descriptors are meant to be used as the cornerstones of a geographical referring expression generation algorithm that is able to linguistically characterize geographical locations and regions. This work is also part of a general research effort that intends to establish a methodology which reunites the empirical studies traditionally practiced in data-to-text and the use of fuzzy sets to model imprecision and vagueness in words and expressions for text generation purposes.

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