Navigating within non-linear structures is a challenge for all users when the space is large but the problem is most pronounced when the users are blind or visually impaired. Such users access digital content through screen readers like JAWS which read out the text on the screen. However presentation of non-linear narratives in such a manner without visual cues and information about spatial dependencies is very inefficient for such users. The NSDL Science Literacy StrandMaps are visual layouts to help students and teachers browse educational resources. A Strandmap shows relationships between concepts and how they build upon one another across grade levels. NSDL Strandmaps are non-linear narratives which need to be presented to users who are blind in an effective way. A good summary of the Strandmap can give the users an idea about the concepts that are explained in it. This can help them decide whether to view the map or not. In addition, a preview-based navigation mechanism can help users decide which direction they want to take, based on a preview of upcoming content in each direction. Given a non-linear narrative like a Strandmap which has both text and structure, and a word limit w, the goal of this thesis is to find the best way to create its summary. The following approaches are considered: – Purely Text-based Approach using a Multi-document Text Summarizer – Purely Structure-based Approach using PageRank – Approaches Combining both Text and Structure → CUTS-Based Approach (Topic Segmentation) → PageRank with Content Since no reference summaries for such structures were available, user studies were conducted to evaluate these algorithms. PageRank with Content approach performed the best. Another important conclusion was that text and structure are intertwined in a Strandmap by design.
- On summarization of non-linear narratives
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