Fusing sentences containing disparate content is a remarkable human ability that helps create informative and succinct summaries. Such a simple task for humans has remained challenging for modern abstractive summarizers, substantially restricting their applicability in real-world scenarios. In this paper, we present an investigation into fusing sentences drawn from a document by introducing the notion of points of correspondence, which are cohesive devices that tie any two sentences together into a coherent text. The types of points of correspondence are delineated by text cohesion theory, covering pronominal and nominal referencing, repetition and beyond. We create a dataset containing the documents, source and fusion sentences, and human annotations of points of correspondence between sentences. Our dataset bridges the gap between coreference resolution and summarization. It is publicly shared to serve as a basis for future work to measure the success of sentence fusion systems.
The ability to fuse sentences is highly attractive for summarization systems because it is an essential step to produce succinct abstracts. However, to date, summarizers can fail on fusing sentences. They tend to produce few summary sentences by fusion or generate incorrect fusions that lead the summary to fail to retain the original meaning. In this paper, we explore the ability of Transformers to fuse sentences and propose novel algorithms to enhance their ability to perform sentence fusion by leveraging the knowledge of points of correspondence between sentences. Through extensive experiments, we investigate the effects of different design choices on Transformer’s performance. Our findings highlight the importance of modeling points of correspondence between sentences for effective sentence fusion.
We present Margin Call, a web-based text viewer that automatically generates short summaries for each paragraph of the text and displays the summaries in the margin of the text next to the corresponding paragraph. On the back-end, the summarizer first identifies the most important sentence for each paragraph in the text file uploaded by the user. The selected sentence is then automatically compressed to produce the short summary. The resulting summary is a few words long. The displayed summaries can help the user understand and retrieve information faster from the text, while increasing the retention of information.
Answer selection is a core component in any question-answering systems. It aims to select correct answer sentences for a given question from a pool of candidate sentences. In recent years, many deep learning methods have been proposed and shown excellent results for this task. However, these methods typically require extensive parameter (and hyper-parameter) tuning, which give rise to efficiency issues for large-scale datasets, and potentially make them less portable across new datasets and domains (as re-tuning is usually required). In this paper, we propose an extremely efficient hybrid model (FastHybrid) that tackles the problem from both an accuracy and scalability point of view. FastHybrid is a light-weight model that requires little tuning and adaptation across different domains. It combines a fast deep model (which will be introduced in the method section) with an initial information retrieval model to effectively and efficiently handle answer selection. We introduce a new efficient attention mechanism in the hybrid model and demonstrate its effectiveness on several QA datasets. Experimental results show that although the hybrid uses no training data, its accuracy is often on-par with supervised deep learning techniques, while significantly reducing training and tuning costs across different domains.