Scoring Sentence Singletons and Pairs for Abstractive Summarization

ACL 2019

Published August 2, 2019

Logan Lebanoff, Kaiqiang Song, Franck Dernoncourt, Doo Soon Kim, Seokhwan Kim, Walter Chang, Fei Liu

When writing a summary, humans tend to choose content from one or two sentences and merge them into a single summary sentence. However, the mechanisms behind the selection of one or multiple source sentences remain poorly understood. Sentence fusion assumes multi-sentence input; yet sentence selection methods only work with single sentences and not combinations of them. There is thus a crucial gap between sentence selection and fusion to support summarizing by both compressing single sentences and fusing pairs. This paper attempts to bridge the gap by ranking sentence singletons and pairs together in a unified space. Our proposed framework attempts to model human methodology by selecting either a single sentence or a pair of sentences, then compressing or fusing the sentence(s) to produce a summary sentence. We conduct extensive experiments on both single- and multi-document summarization datasets and report findings on sentence selection and abstraction.

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