There Once Was a Really Bad Poet, It Was Automated but You Didn’t Know It

Jianyou Wang, Cynthia Rudin, Yuren Zhou, Chris Suh, Xiaoxuan Zhang

Abstract


Limerick generation exemplifies some of the most difficult challenges faced in poetry generation, as the poems must tell a story in only five lines, with constraints on rhyme, stress, and meter. To address these challenges, we introduce LimGen, a novel and fully automated system for limerick generation that outperforms state-of-the-art neural network-based poetry models, as well as prior rule-based poetry models. LimGen consists of three important pieces: the Adaptive Multi-Templated Constraint algorithm that constrains our search to the space of realistic poems, the Multi-Templated Beam Search algorithm which searches efficiently through the space, and the probabilistic Storyline algorithm that provides coherent storylines related to a user-provided prompt word. The resulting limericks satisfy poetic constraints and have thematically coherent storylines, which are sometimes even funny (when we are lucky).


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