Unsupervised Abstractive Opinion Summarization by Generating Sentences with Tree-Structured Topic Guidance

15 Jun 2021  ·  Masaru Isonuma, Junichiro Mori, Danushka Bollegala, Ichiro Sakata ·

This paper presents a novel unsupervised abstractive summarization method for opinionated texts. While the basic variational autoencoder-based models assume a unimodal Gaussian prior for the latent code of sentences, we alternate it with a recursive Gaussian mixture, where each mixture component corresponds to the latent code of a topic sentence and is mixed by a tree-structured topic distribution... By decoding each Gaussian component, we generate sentences with tree-structured topic guidance, where the root sentence conveys generic content, and the leaf sentences describe specific topics. Experimental results demonstrate that the generated topic sentences are appropriate as a summary of opinionated texts, which are more informative and cover more input contents than those generated by the recent unsupervised summarization model (Bra\v{z}inskas et al., 2020). Furthermore, we demonstrate that the variance of latent Gaussians represents the granularity of sentences, analogous to Gaussian word embedding (Vilnis and McCallum, 2015). read more

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