VAE-PGN based Abstractive Model in Multi-stage Architecture for Text Summarization

This paper describes our submission to the TL;DR challenge. Neural abstractive summarization models have been successful in generating fluent and consistent summaries with advancements like the copy (Pointer-generator) and coverage mechanisms. However, these models suffer from their extractive nature as they learn to copy words from the source text. In this paper, we propose a novel abstractive model based on Variational Autoencoder (VAE) to address this issue. We also propose a Unified Summarization Framework for the generation of summaries. Our model eliminates non-critical information at a sentence-level with an extractive summarization module and generates the summary word by word using an abstractive summarization module. To implement our framework, we combine submodules with state-of-the-art techniques including Pointer-Generator Network (PGN) and BERT while also using our new VAE-PGN abstractive model. We evaluate our model on the benchmark Reddit corpus as part of the TL;DR challenge and show that our model outperforms the baseline in ROUGE score while generating diverse summaries.

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