Computational generation of referring expressions: a survey

Emiel Krahmer, Kees van Deemter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

254 Citations (Scopus)


This article offers a survey of computational research on referring expressions generation (REG). It introduces the REG problem and describes early work in this area, discussing what basic assumptions lie behind it, and showing how its remit has widened in recent years. We discuss computational frameworks underlying REG, and demonstrate a recent trend that seeks to link up REG algorithms with well-established Knowledge Representation traditions. Considerable attention is given to recent efforts at evaluating REG algorithms and the lessons that they allow us to learn. The article concludes with a discussion of the way forward in REG, focussing on references in larger and more realistic settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-218
Number of pages46
JournalComputational Linguistics
Issue number1
Early online date20 Jan 2012
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


  • survey
  • generaton of referring expressions


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