Automated knowledge acquisition for instructional text generation

Cécile Paris*, Keith Vander Linden, Shijian Lu

*Corresponding author for this work

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

9 Citations (Scopus)


Language generation systems have often been advocated for use in the generation of user documentation, but in practice, it is hard to use them because of the amount of knowledge they require as input. Without a readily available source of input, the knowledge acquisition bottleneck will prevent generation technology from ever being used. Unfortunately, knowledge acquisition for any domain-varying language generation application is difficult because there is seldom any single knowledge source or acquisition method that is adequate for acquiring the appropriate knowledge. This paper argues that this required knowledge can, in practice, be acquired from a heterogeneous set of complementary sources. It then presents Isolde, a support environment for technical writers that can mine these sources using an extensible set of specially tailored acquisition tools. These tools acquire instructional knowledge on-the-fly and consolidate it into a knowledge base that can drive instructional text generation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationACM SIGDOC Annual International Conference on Computer Documentation, Proceedings
EditorsM. Priestley
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2002
EventProceedings of the 20th Annual International Conference on Documentation - Toronto, Canada
Duration: 20 Oct 200223 Oct 2002


OtherProceedings of the 20th Annual International Conference on Documentation


  • Instructional text
  • Knowledge acquisition
  • Language generation


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