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Summarizing Text Documents: Sentence Selection and Evaluation Metrics

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journal contribution
posted on 01.01.1976, 00:00 by Jade Goldstein, Mark Kantrowitz, Vibhu Mittal, Jaime G. Carbonell
Human-quality text summarization systems are difficult to design, and even more difficult to evaluate, in part because documents can differ along several dimensions, such as length, writing style and lexical usage. Nevertheless, certain cues can often help suggest the selection of sentences for inclusion in a summary. This paper presents our analysis of news-article summaries generated by sentence selection. Sentences are ranked for potential inclusion in the summary using a weighted combination of statistical and linguistic features. The statistical features were adapted from standard IR methods. The potential linguistic ones were derived from an analysis of news-wire summaries. To evaluate these features we use a normalized version of precision-recall curves, with a baseline of random sentence selection, as well as analyze the properties of such a baseline. We illustrate our discussions with empirical results showing the importance of corpus-dependent baseline summarization standards, compression ratios and carefully crafted long queries.


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