In this article we discuss several metrics of coherence defined using centering theory and investigate the usefulness of such metrics for information ordering in automatic text generation. We estimate empirically which is the most promising metric and how useful this metric is using a general methodology applied on several corpora. Our main result is that the simplest metric (which relies exclusively on NOCB transitions) sets a robust baseline that cannot be outperformed by other metrics which make use of additional centering-based features. This baseline can be used for the development of both text-to-text and concept-to-text generation systems.
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© 2008 Association for Computational Linguistics