Query Focused Abstractive Summarization: Incorporating Query Relevance, Multi-Document Coverage, and Summary Length Constraints into seq2seq Models

23 Jan 2018  ·  Tal Baumel, Matan Eyal, Michael Elhadad ·

Query Focused Summarization (QFS) has been addressed mostly using extractive methods. Such methods, however, produce text which suffers from low coherence. We investigate how abstractive methods can be applied to QFS, to overcome such limitations. Recent developments in neural-attention based sequence-to-sequence models have led to state-of-the-art results on the task of abstractive generic single document summarization. Such models are trained in an end to end method on large amounts of training data. We address three aspects to make abstractive summarization applicable to QFS: (a)since there is no training data, we incorporate query relevance into a pre-trained abstractive model; (b) since existing abstractive models are trained in a single-document setting, we design an iterated method to embed abstractive models within the multi-document requirement of QFS; (c) the abstractive models we adapt are trained to generate text of specific length (about 100 words), while we aim at generating output of a different size (about 250 words); we design a way to adapt the target size of the generated summaries to a given size ratio. We compare our method (Relevance Sensitive Attention for QFS) to extractive baselines and with various ways to combine abstractive models on the DUC QFS datasets and demonstrate solid improvements on ROUGE performance.

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Task Dataset Model Metric Name Metric Value Global Rank Benchmark
Query-Based Extractive Summarization Debatepedia RSA Word Count ROUGE-1 53.09 # 1


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