LIN 393S

Computational Discourse

The University of Texas at Austin
Fall 2018
Instructor: Jessy Li

Course Information

Course Information

Course Description

Written text usually consists of multiple sentences; to fully understand a text as a whole requires information that cannot be obtained when considering each sentence individually. In this seminar course, we look at discourse processing: how references to entities, and relationships between clauses and sentences (e.g., cause, result, elaboration), contribute to the local coherence of the text. We will study the following aspects: frameworks, corpora, and computational models (e.g., coreference resolution and discourse parsing). We will also discuss discourse processing in the context of a number of Natural Language Processing tasks, such as summarization, question answering, and sentiment analysis.


Graduate standing. LIN 353C or CS 388 or CS 395T or equivalent prior exposure to Computational Linguistics/Natural Language Processing.


There will be no textbook for this seminar; reading material will consists of technical papers discussed in each meeting. That said, if you would like overview texts of discourse processing, check out Chapters 15 and 16 of Jacob Eisenstein’s notes, and/or Discourse Processing by Manfred Stede.

Organization and Content

Grading Policy

Extension Policy

If you turn in your assignment late, expect points to be deducted. Extensions will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If you anticipate that you will need an extension for some assignment, let me know in advance.

By default, 5 points (out of 100) will be deducted for lateness, plus an additional 1 point for every 24-hour period beyond 2 that the assignment is late. The maximum extension penalty is 40 points if handed in before the last day of class. Resubmissions of assignments are allowed; extension penalty applies for post-deadline resubmissions. Note that there are always some points to be had, even if you turn in your assignment late. So if you would like to know if you should still turn in the assignment even though it is late, the answer is always yes.

Academic Dishonesty Policy

You are encouraged to discuss assignments with classmates. But all written work must be your own. Students caught cheating will automatically fail the course. If in doubt, ask the instructor.