CS 8761 Natural Language Processing - Fall 2004

Project Overview

This may be revised in response to your questions. Last Update, Wednesday, Nov 3, 12 noon


The overall goal of your team project is to develop an automatic method of grading essays. These are essays as found on standardized tests such as the TOEFL or GMAT exam, where a question or prompt is given, and the student is expected to write a 5 paragraph essay in response. The five paragraphs are typically a thesis statement, three supporting paragraphs, and one concluding paragraph.


Your essay grader should be written entirely in Perl. It may include standard Perl modules that can be found in the CPAN archives. You should seriously consider releasing your system via CPAN as well. Your team may also want to use the SourceForge development environment, which will provide web hosting and cvs services.

Please organize and document your system in such a way that I can easily download and install your system, and have it running with minimal effort on my part. In particular, I would like you to follow the standard Perl convention of having systems installed via the "standard 3 step install" of :
perl Makefile.PL
make install
We will make these systems available on the web both in a downloadable form (after the class is finished) and also for web based use. You may be surprised at who and how many people will look at these system, so please consider it an opportunity to make a good impression (and a good advertisement) for yourself and your teammates.

Your essay grader should have a cgi based web interface that will display a question to the student, and then provide a box in which the essay can be written and then submitted. Your system should provide feedback on the following points: Your system should provide a report to the user after they submit an essay, that provides feedback on all of the issues mentioned above.

by: Ted Pedersen - tpederse@umn.edu