Abstractive Text Summarization based on Language Model Conditioning and Locality Modeling

Dmitrii Aksenov, Julian Moreno Schneider, Peter Bourgonje, Robert Schwarzenberg, Leonhard Hennig, Georg Rehm

In: Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation 2020. International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC-2020) May 12-17 Marseille France European Language Resources Association (ELRA) 5/2020.


We explore to what extent knowledge about the pre-trained language model that is used is beneficial for the task of abstractive summarization. To this end, we experiment with conditioning the encoder and decoder of a Transformer-based neural model on the BERT language model. In addition, we propose a new method of BERT-windowing, which allows chunk-wise processing of texts longer than the BERT window size. We also explore how locality modeling, i.e., the explicit restriction of calculations to the local context, can affect the summarization ability of the Transformer. This is done by introducing 2-dimensional convolutional self-attention into the first layers of the encoder. The results of our models are compared to a baseline and the state-of-the-art models on the CNN/Daily Mail dataset. We additionally train our model on the SwissText dataset to demonstrate usability on German. Both models outperform the baseline in ROUGE scores on two datasets and show its superiority in a manual qualitative analysis.


LREC-2020-Aksenov-et-al-final.pdf (pdf, 262 KB )

Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz
German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence