Bridging the gap between extractive and abstractive summaries: Creation and evaluation of coherent extracts from heterogeneous sources

Coherent extracts are a novel type of summary combining the advantages of manually created abstractive summaries, which are fluent but difficult to evaluate, and low-quality automatically created extractive summaries, which lack coherence and structure. We use a corpus of heterogeneous documents to address the issue that information seekers usually face {--} a variety of different types of information sources. We directly extract information from these, but minimally redact and meaningfully order it to form a coherent text. Our qualitative and quantitative evaluations show that quantitative results are not sufficient to judge the quality of a summary and that other quality criteria, such as coherence, should also be taken into account. We find that our manually created corpus is of high quality and that it has the potential to bridge the gap between reference corpora of abstracts and automatic methods producing extracts. Our corpus is available to the research community for further development.

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