Visualising discourse coherence in non-linear documents

Clara Mancini*, Donia Scott* and Simon Buckingham Shum*
*Centre for Research in Computing; The Open University; Walton Hall, Milton Keynes; MK7 6AA, United Kingdom;;;
Résumé (en anglais)
To produce coherent linear documents, natural language generation systems have traditionally exploited the structuring role of textual discourse markers such as relational and referential phrases. These coherence markers of the traditional notion of text, however, do not work in non-linear documents: a new set of graphical devices is needed together with formation rules to govern their usage, supported by sound theoretical frameworks. If in linear documents graphical devices such as layout and formatting complement textual devices in the expression of discourse coherence, in non-linear documents they play a more important role. In this paper, we present our theoretical and empirical work in progress, which explores new possibilities for expressing coherence in the generation of hypertext documents.