Efficiently Summarizing Text and Graph Encodings of Multi-Document Clusters

This paper presents an efficient graph-enhanced approach to multi-document summarization (MDS) with an encoder-decoder Transformer model. This model is based on recent advances in pre-training both encoder and decoder on very large text data (Lewis et al., 2019), and it incorporates an efficient encoding mechanism (Beltagy et al., 2020) that avoids the quadratic memory growth typical for traditional Transformers. We show that this powerful combination not only scales to large input documents commonly found when summarizing news clusters; it also enables us to process additional input in the form of auxiliary graph representations, which we derive from the multi-document clusters. We present a mechanism to incorporate such graph information into the encoder-decoder model that was pre-trained on text only. Our approach leads to significant improvements on the Multi-News dataset, overall leading to an average 1.8 ROUGE score improvement over previous work (Li et al., 2020). We also show improvements in a transfer-only setup on the DUC-2004 dataset. The graph encodings lead to summaries that are more abstractive. Human evaluation shows that they are also more informative and factually more consistent with their input documents.

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